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Preschool fills a gap in Central Maui

March 3, 2008
The Maui News
KAHULUI — A new preschool has been opened in Kahului by a teacher formerly with the Central Maui Preschool, which was displaced by an arson fire last year.

Jenni Potts is the founder and director for Gym-N-Learn, opening the new facility at 153 Alamaha St. last month in space provided by Tumblebear Gym Program. The school is already at capacity with 14 students.

The Central Maui Preschool on Kanaloa Avenue near Keopuolani Park was gutted by a suspicious fire last October, with investigators reporting evidence of a burglar who may have set the fire to cover up the break-in.

Parents of children from Central Maui Preschool could not find another facility until Potts opened Gym-N-Learn. Nearly half of the students are Central Maui Preschool students.

Initially set up as a temporary school for the displaced students, Gym-N-Learn may continue at its site, Potts said.

“We have had an excellent response, and we are hoping to keep the school open and running full time,” she said.

Gym-N-Learn operates from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Prices are $315 per child per month for two days, and $395 for three days.

Potts said she’s willing to try a five-day program beginning in August.

“If there’s interest in a five-day program, then we’ll do it,” she said.

In the meantime, her preschool will hold an open house for interested families from 9 a.m. to noon on March 16.

Potts serves as the lead teacher with the help of an instructional assistant, Carla Ayalia.

The philosophy of Gym-N-Learn “is to provide guided learning through developmental centers, structured group activities and an age appropriate fitness program. . . . The learning environment is stimulating, nurturing and designed to promote discovery and independent thing.”

Age-appropriate literature and activities are also provided to engage the children and to prepare them for kindergarten, Potts said.

Tumblebear Gym continues to operate its own gymnastics program for toddlers and preschoolers.

Potts said her preschool has access to Tumblebear’s equipment, including two trampolines, a rock-climbing wall and a zip line. “It’s like Chuck E. Cheese without the pizza,” she said.

For more information or to register for the summer or fall programs at Gym-N-Learn, call 280-3019.

Article Photos

Gym-N-Learn preschoolers Ryan Potts, 3, and Melissa Souza, 5, get a little bit of fun and exercise on gym equipment at their new preschool site in Kahului. Watching them hang is 3-year-old Celina Brito.

Gym-N-Learn Preschool photo



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