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