From current enrollees to alumni, read Kigala parent testimonials on Kigala Preschool!
“I will enroll my younger daughter next year as well!”
When I started to look for a pre-school for my then 2 year old daughter, I was looking for something similar that I experienced when I was her age: a warm, understanding, hugging environment. I found it! KIGALA makes her school life fun, exciting, loving, understanding, independent and colorful…with sometimes a lot of color on her clothes!
At pick up time, my daughter is full of joy and happiness, her eyes are sparkly and she has a lot to tell me. All of it seems to be the most wonderful gift to a child. I am happy that she can experience the warmth of her pre-school, where everybody is welcomed.
“We are absolutely smitten with Kigala!”
Our son thrives in an environment where his boyish and physical exuberance is appreciated and positively directed. He is allowed to run and jump and move, even taking supervised risks that would be impossible at many American preschools.
Kigala also challenges all of his active mind. When asked about his school by friends, he often proudly exclaims that he is learning German AND Spanish. And he really IS learning German (as am I, now that we speak German together on a daily basis). He is formally a part of the German immersion group, but the teachers sneak in some Spanish in the afternoons when he stays extended day. It’s a beautiful surprise to see his language skills develop day by day.
But Kigala doesn’t ignore his scientific education. They use UCLA’s preschool curriculum as a guide, and he knows that he breathes ‘oxygen’ (or Sauerstoff!). He just learned about tornadoes the other day in a fun practical experiment. He even practices what it means to be funny, as on Kigala sponsored Crazy Sock Day or Crazy Hair Day, obviously enjoyed by the kids who like to see rules broken as much as followed.
And all of these activities happen in a green, welcoming indoor-outdoor space in Santa Monica’s urban jungle. Yes, the school is in the middle of the city, but the staff just broke a hole through the concrete yard for a beautiful plum tree, and another two more trees are on the way.
But most important are Kigala’s teachers – kind, fun, earnest, educated, free-spirits who know that working with preschoolers is the most important work on our planet. We are grateful every day that we drop our son off at this joyful, enriching, heartwarming place. There is no doubt that Kigala has given a treasured gift to our family.
“There’s a big smile on her face when she gets to Kigala”
Our daughter enrolled at Kigala at age 2 years, 9 months and the experience has been wonderful for our family. The school has an excellent, well-organized activity plan, and the atmosphere is very cozy and inviting.
I am a native German speaker, and I am impressed with Kigala’s German immersion program. It has been great for our daughter, as she has become very comfortable expressing herself in German. I have noticed a big difference in her willingness to speak the language. The second language is taught in a natural way – the children absorb the language through songs and stories, and general conversation. There is a nice mix of native speakers and beginners. Our daughter has started conversing with her best friend at Kigala in German, which is truly amazing to hear.
Elke Miller, the director, is wonderful and has done a great job setting up the facility. There is a fantastic outdoor classroom, where the kids love to play. They get to do gardening, art projects, get just the right amount of exercise, and plenty of fresh air. It allows them just to be kids and do some good old-fashioned running around.
The teachers are kind, and well-educated in child care. Our daughter looks forward to seeing them and attending Kigala every day. There’s a big smile on her face when she gets there in the morning, and a big smile when we pick her up – and that’s the best testament to a great place for a child to spend their day!
Daniela & Mike
“KIGALA IS A SECRET GEM!!!”
Kigala offers an exceptional mix of highly desirable qualities. There are a number of other great preschool programs on the Westside of Los Angeles and in Santa Monica that are more widely known. Yet, Kigala has been the best preschool choice – for our girls and us anyways – for so many good reasons:
• Fantastic dedicated teachers who adapt to each child’s personality to help them grow
• Small student-teacher-ratio
• Very well thought out curriculum suitable for the young children
• Emphasis on hands-on learning, experiencing things through touch, smell etc.
• Wonderful arts teacher
• Music and P.E enrichment
• Promotion of healthy food choices
• Early teaching of respecting and caring for the environment
• Emphasis on personal values and social responsibility
• Lots of outdoor time
• Unusually international and diverse group of engaged parents
The language immersion program has been very important for our two girls to help solidify their German which can be challenging in an otherwise all-English speaking environment. We particularly appreciate the emphasis on healthy food choices, the environment, and values.
Kigala completed its move recently and I expect it won’t be long until this gem will become widely known!
“…my daughter speaks Spanish!”
Having arrived from Sydney in late 2008 when my daughter was nearly 2, my husband and I wanted to find a small, friendly pre-school that would provide a nurturing environment for her and for us as a family. We were also very interested in her being exposed to a second language.
Kigala was everything that we were looking for! It is a small school with a close-knit family network and a principle (Elke Miller) and teachers who are very passionate about what they do. The school’s philosophy of balancing social/emotional development with play and learning is spot on. Elke Miller and the other teachers were always very receptive to the ideas of the parents and over the 3 years that we attended the school the program developed into an extremely professional and effective learning platform.
My daughter Ayla loved attending Kigala. She developed self-confidence, was more than ready on all levels for Kindergarten, made some wonderful friendships that she has continued and as a bonus speaks Spanish! For my own part I loved our connection with Kigala too. I made some long-lasting friendships there and became very involved in the PTA as I was so impressed with the school and it’s goals.
I would recommend Kigala to any parent who wants a warm, fun, nurturing environment where their child will learn all the skills necessary to give them a great start in life.
Kim & Lenette
“p.s. We would be happy to talk to any prospective families.”
Kigala is a wonderful nurturing, loving environment. Our older daughter loved Kigala and told us that “we have to send her little sister to Kigala as well.” We will happily comply :). The staff are very knowledgeable and kind, but firm where they need to be. The school provided us with a very nice diverse, international community that we will always cherish.
Petra & Anil
After two years in Kigala’s nurturing and dynamic environment, our daughter is thriving in kindergarden! We couldn’t have asked for a better teaching staff, a prettier facility, and a more engaging curriculum. That my child left Kigala at age 4 conversant in both Spanish and English is just icing on the cake!
Peggy & John
My daughter’s last words before she fell asleep the night before the first open house at her school, “Kigala.”
What had started out as a German playgroup, mainly organized by mothers, have turned into a certified, multilingual preschool, offering a German immersion group, English speaking groups and soon too come a Spanish immersion group, with dedicated, caring teachers. And most important, a place for children where they can flourish is seen, where they are encouraged to explore, learn and build community…a place that validates who they are. It is a project in progress grow- ing and expanding in different ways.
And my daughter definitely enjoyed her open house. She was proud to show her school to her English speaking friends. Speaking English with them and German with her German friends is natural for her. At the open house, the happiness and ease of the children was most inspiring. You could see that for them it is not only their school, they feel at home in their cozy rooms and the huge auditorium, which looks like an artist’s studio. Their artwork and photos of daily activities can be seen everywhere, validating and honoring their unique processes, works and ideas. You can find the stories they create together, written down by teachers and pinned on the walls or in little books they make. Their work, thoughts, concerns and unique processes are visible and validated.
And of course it was a fun day with lots of different things to do, see and experience. There were little puppies to pat, arts and crafts with natural materials, face painting, games and a magnificent bubble show, where children could experience how it feels to be inside a bubble (well, one after another). And of course the food; homemade German cakes , German pretzel rolls from my favorite bakery Rockenwagner, German potato salad and to round it all up, and Mexican specialties. I loved to overhear a conversation about future tree houses and colorful playhouses. It was wonderful to see people connect and get inspired; to see people being at home sharing different cultures and languages and where cultural boundaries dissolve.
Like the children are watching the little seedlings in their gardenbeds grow, we watch Kigala grow. Many flowers could be seen at the open house. The most beautiful ones were the building of community, the welcoming warmth and of course the happiness of our children.
Thank you Kigala Parents for sharing your testimonials.
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See Kigala Kids at play in our Photo Album.