Kids R Kids Offers Hands-On Learning In A Caring Atmosphere
By Michael Smith
The new school year is just around the corner, and if you’re looking for the right educational program to begin or enhance your child’s learning experience, then you’ll deﬁnitely want to check out the Kids R Kids School of Quality Learning in Wesley Chapel. Located on Overpass Rd., just east of the Overpass/Boyette Rd. intersection, Kids R Kids combines a proven educational philosophy with a genuinely caring and compassionate atmosphere that encourages children to learn, says owner Bimal Bhojani. “We’re not just a day care program, we’re a real school with a real curriculum,” Bhojani says. Kids R Kids is a chain of learning centers that was founded in 1985 and now includes nearly 200 locations in 14 states, each independently owned and operated by franchisees like Bhojani, who opened the Boyette Rd. location last fall. Since then, Bhojani says, response from the community has been very favorable, with enrollment swelling from 69 students at opening to the approximately 150 who currently are registered in the center’s educational and summer programs, which are designed for children from the ages of 6 weeks through 12 years.
“We’ve been experiencing double- digit growth every month that we’ve been open,” Bhojani says. “Virtually every person who comes through the door ends up enrolling their child.” The reason for the enthusiastic response, Bhojani says, is two-fold. First of all, the sparkling $4-million, 17,000- sq.-ft. facility itself is pretty impressive, and it includes some real cutting-edge innovations that beneﬁt both parents and students. For example, the entire facility, including the play areas and cafeteria, are wired with a camera system that allows parents to observe what their children are doing at any time during the day, in real time, at their home or ofﬁce, via the internet. In addition, Bhojani says each of the classrooms and activity rooms are built with ﬂoor-to-ceiling glass walls that not only give the school a light, open ambience, but also help to increase safety and security. And, each of the classrooms has direct access to its own age-appropriate, shaded play area, and the center even has its own mini water park. “No other place has all of this,” Bhojani says. But, even more important than the facility is the Kids R Kids curriculum and the center’s staff and administrators, each of whom is fully certiﬁed and specially trained in the Kids R Kids philosophy, which is summed up in the motto, “Hug First, Then Teach.” Among these is center director (or principal) Maria DuPree, who worked in the day care industry for more than 10 years before coming to Kids R Kids when it opened. “What I like is that they really go above and beyond the required standards,” DuPree says, “and the curriculum is always being tweaked to make it better or to address areas of speciﬁc need.” Bhojani adds that the Kids R Kids curriculum is based on hands-on learning, with age-appropriate activities for students at every grade level, and includes everything from potty training and computer activities to regular subjects like math and science.
“Everything they do is through interaction,” he says. Parent Tom Lewis of Wesley Chapel, whose 5-year-old daughter is in the voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK) program at the center, says he looked at several different programs before choosing Kids R Kids. He says the camera system was a big incentive for him, because, “it gives me peace of mind,” but he also says that the school’s teaching methods have helped his daughter achieve even more than he thought she could. “She is doing so well, she is ahead of where she is sup- posed to be, and there’s no one to thank but the teachers and the Kids R Kids program for that,” Lewis says. “It has been absolutely excellent for her.”
The new school year at Kids R Kids begins Monday, August 16,coinciding with the Pasco County School District’s calendar. For parents needing before- and/or after school care for their children, the center offers pick-up and drop-off services for students who attend Wesley Chapel, Watergrass, Veterans, Quail Hollow, Double Branch and New River elementary schools. The free VPK program is open to children who will turn 4 years old on or before September 1.It runs Monday- Friday, 9 a.m.-noon, but Kids R Kids also offers a special “wrap-around” pro- gram that provides additional care between 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m. for $95 per week. For a limited time, however, the center is offering a 10-percent discount on the cost of the wrap-around pro- gram, as well as a 10-percent discount off the regular weekly tuition cost for its other programs for up to 12 months. In addition, Bhojani says Kids R Kids also will waive the regular regis- tration cost of $75 per child (or $125 for multiple children from the same family) — again, however, for a limited time only. If you would like to learn more about what the Kids R Kids program can offer your child, call 355-4824 or just stop by the center (at 30100 Overpass Rd.) anytime between 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday- Friday for a tour of the facility.