Shantivanam Children’s Community is truly a hidden jewel among childcare facilities. As a parent and elementary educator, I know it is essential that our children learn and grow in an environment that places the utmost value on the positive development of the whole child. Shantivanam does an incredible job of nurturing each individual child’s creativity, curiosity, unique abilities and talents, as well as learning needs. Elishelah and her staff work diligently to provide a safe and fun environment for children. Laughter and encouraging words can ALWAYS be heard at Shantivanam. Aside from the various enrichment activities offered such as, music, Spanish, Yoga, and sign language, we have been most impressed with social and character development that occurs under the guidance of the Shantivanam educators. We feel our daughter’s ability to be compassionate, empathetic, kind-hearted, philanthropic, and a “social” problem solver, is largely due to the emphasis placed on teaching children to have strong character and respect for all beings. What a gift Shantivanam has given our children!
~ Matt and Kim Williams
We have two daughters with Shantivanam (Olivia, 4 and Maya, 2). Both of them are always excited to go, and have something positive to share when we pick them up! It gives us such peace of mine to know that they are in safe, conscious, educated, creative, and compassionate hands during their formative years. We feel that our children are not only getting knowledge, they are also developing a strong sense of self – and we attribute that Shantivanam’s consistent teachings and philosophies.
Jason and Aimee Clark
We are parents of two (older boy, younger girl) and we have found Shantivanam Children’s Community to be such a perfect fit for our family. The environment in which they have created for the children is so special, nurturing and rich with love and happiness. After looking a handful of other places, we knew this was the place we wanted our kids to spend time away from home. They teach kindness, respect, leadership, encourage creativity and accountability and place great emphasis on everyday practical tasks. She teaches lessons with “Diversity Dolls” that we believe has been an incredible way to instill empathy and tolerance in real life settings. We have watched our son grow into such a sweet, gentle, sensitive young boy. He absolutely loves and looks forward to going to school each day. He has met friends/buddies that will be with him for a long time. Elishelah’s staff is second to none. They treat the children like they are their own and it’s obvious that they love what they do simply by the way they interact with the children and parents. The Shantivanam community is small and quaint and has become a second family to us. I love that the children have adopted real life social skills and tasks like gardening, cleaning up, dancing, yoga, spanish and some sign language too. We got an extra boost with potty training when the time was right by being their as well. I have so much confidence in Elishelah, her staff and the entire Shantivanam Children’s Community….I don’t hesitate to go to Elishelah for parenting advice…it’s always so great! She provides parent workshops throughout the year that have been a great way to establish consistency in the way we teach and parent together as well as a fabulous learning tool for my husband and I. We feel that our son is going to be so well prepared going into kindergarten a year from now and we really look forward to eventually sending out daughter to Shantivanam as well.
~ Chad and Sandy Colton (Shea & Reese)
For the past 18 months, it has been our privilege to have our two children (Isabella and Riley) under the tutelage of Elishelah Wright and her staff at Shantivanam Children’s Community school. To begin with, the school is well designed for students to learn and interact with each other. It is clean, colorful and welcoming to children and adults. The children have many visual and kinesthetic opportunities to learn: including the use of animals (bunnies and turtles) and a variety of educational manipulatives. The vibrant educational program has given our children the opportunity to participate in music, foreign languages, yoga, and even sign language. Our daughter Isabella particularly liked the life sized dolls that are used to teach about ethnic and cultural diversity issues. Shantivanam also heartily promotes that parents actively participate in the learning process. This program differs from any others with the deep sense of caring and a profound commitment in providing an environment that promotes the same. Our children’s behavior has greatly improved during their time at Shantivanam. Isabella and Riley have become more respectful, polite and eager to learn. It is our firm belief the Shantivanam facility, curriculum and teaching methods have given our children an outstanding platform to move forward in their educational process.
I am a working mother of two children who have attended Shantivanam Children’s Community for a combined 5+ years. The growth and development I have witnessed not only in my own children but many others who have attended Shantivanam has surpassed my expectations. The cornerstone of Shantivanam’s curricula focuses on Character Development, which is emphasized in every activity at Shantivanam. All activities to which the children are exposed offer opportunities for growth in key developmental areas such as leadership, teamwork, conflict resolution, and positive interpersonal relationships. Children are encouraged to explore the consequences of their actions, whether positive or negative, in a safe and loving environment. Character development is also taught at Shantivanam through the use of “Diversity Dolls” – a unique set of life-size dolls designed by Elishelah – all of whom have physical attributes that make them different. Another very unique aspect of Shantivanam is their holistic approach to teaching that is weaved throughout the curricula, whether the child is 2 years or 5 years. Gardening, yoga, and an array of art activities are offered that stimulate a child’s brain in a way that opens neural pathways that are essential to learning. This experiential approach to teaching is exciting and rewarding to the children. Many activities are done outside, in the natural environment, and there is even a little “meditation area” where children can sit quietly and relax. I would like to say that words cannot adequately express the many ways Shantivanam Children’s Community has enhanced the lives of so many children through the dynamic and innovative curricula taught. It is my hope that one day all children will have the opportunity to experience such a wonderful and ideal educational setting that will prepare them not only for kindergarten, but will equip them with the tools necessary to become self-confident, empowered, conscientious citizens that will no doubt work with others to make our world a better place!
~ Jeannine E. Guarino
Shantivanam Children’s Community has been a blessing to our life and our son, Russell. The parts we appreciate the most are the gentle, caring, loving and nurturing style, their professionalism, consistency and their competence in both the emotional and academic development of a young child.
~ Dana and Dan Lowe
Both our daughters have been at Shantivanam since they were three months old, with the older one graduating to kindergarten this year. It was a blessing to find such a warm and loving home in which to leave our children and it has been a pleasure to watch them thrive in this environment. We especially love the emphasis on the Montessori program as well as the time and effort put in to developing the children’s social skills. Elishelah has created the perfect environment in which to teach our children in so many creative ways in a well balanced and loving atmosphere. A lot of emphasis is also given to the caregiver and parents working together to achieve goals and help our children thrive. The program has taken care of all their needs from infant through pre-K and our daughter went off to kindergarten this year with incredible skill sets, both academically and socially, of which we are very proud. Shantivanam has played a very important part in our family’s lives and we are incredibly grateful and proud to be a part of it.
~ Sue and Stuart Gordon, parents
As a third grade teacher and a physician, we have very high standards for child care. When it came time to find part-time care for our daughter, the task seemed almost impossible. We looked at more than a dozen options in North County. What a wonderful stroke of luck to be referred to this “hidden gem” by our sign language teacher! Our daughter loves her time at Shantivanam. The caretaker to child ratio is extremely low, the play-based environment is safe and clean, and the other children display behaviors we are aiming for with our daughter. Elishelah, the Director, has dedicated herself to providing care emphasizing positive discipline, well-rounded stimulation, and unconditional love.
~ Steve and Sasha Bunyak, parents
Shantivanam is a uniquely nurturing and loving environment. The children receive personalized attention from a caring and dedicated staff, and are well prepared to succeed in kindergarten. Gabriella entered kindergarten fully prepared to meet the academic and social challenges in no small part because of the curriculum at Shantivanam. In fact, she was six months ahead of her peers in virtually all areas, and many of her classmates are a year older than her — a testament to what she learned at pre-school. We feel fortunate that we were able to send our child to such a special place.
~ Beth and Doug Glener, parents
As a mother of three and a seasoned educator, I believe that Shantivanam Children’s Community is by far the most positive, nurturing, creative and safe pre-school learning environment I have ever seen. From American Sign Language to Spanish, positive discipline to imaginative playtime, what my husband and I love most about Shantivanam is that respect (for self and others) is at the very core of this truly humanistic learning community.
~ Julie and Ricardo Goldman, parents