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Kids ‘R’ Kids Opens in Shanghai

July, 2016
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Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy officially opened in Shanghai with a grand opening ceremony on 5 June.

0j7a2936The new school has all the essential features of a great international school and more. There is a stunning play area that allows all the students essential outdoor time, a full size indoor gym for those not so nice days in Shanghai, and a full library on the third floor to support the already well-stocked in-class reading corner in each classroom. Kids ‘R’ Kids classrooms are very colorful, just by the very nature of the products. Every classroom is fully laid out based on a general floor plan provided by the Kids ‘R’ Kids headquarters. The classroom teachers will put the finishing touches on their rooms. The themes change every month, so people will see a flurry of activity as teachers prepare the rooms for the next unit. Often it is like Christmas as teachers pull out all of the resources that are available to them to decorate and create a stimulating and educational learning environment. The school kitchen and canteen are state-of-the-art, with catering services by the British company Compass.

The art, music and science lab will be ready over the summer and finishing touches on an outdoor field at the back of the school for the school American Football team. Kids ‘R’ Kids Shanghai will be heavily incorporating Art, PE, Music and Science into the curriculum. 

The current staff team consists of loving teachers who really understand these little children. Every classroom has one foreign teacher and at least one Chinese teacher, and often two. In addition there are one to three teaching assistants in every room depending on the needs of the individual classes. JoAnn Peterson is the founding executive director of Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Shanghai, who has been teaching in classroom in various subject areas for 22 years. Peterson attained her Masters in K-12 Education with an emphasis in Bilingual teaching from Bethel University and is currently finishing the last two chapters of her doctorate dissertation in Educational Administration from the same university. Her doctoral research is focused on Bilingual teaching and best practices for the success of the student.

“By joining Kids ‘R’ Kids, we are breaking new ground in Shanghai,” says JoAnn Peterson. “Kids ‘R’ Kids is a tried and true American educational institution that has stood the test of time with over 160 institutions in American alone! It is an ever-evolving educational system that puts the love of the child at the forefront. The concept of ‘Hug First then Teach’ is a concept based on extensive educational research. It is a proven statistic that children who have a positive relationship with their teacher learn more, achieve more and quickly develop a positive mental attitude towards learning. The Kids ‘R’ Kids method is inquiry-based and steeped in hands-on learning. Children at these young ages learn best through play, so we make every activity a learning event. You may see them playing outside, but at the same time we give them structured activities where they are learning English terms, colors, social skills, and how to follow directions.”

Students who come in at 2 and 2.5 years old are not required to have any English. However, Kids ‘R’ Kids teachers rigorously speak with the families about how they can support English learning at home. In the classroom the students are always supported in Chinese and they are never made to feel isolated because they do not speak English. The Foreign teachers speak English 100% of the time. In the 2 and 2.5 year old classes the Chinese teachers are required to speak English at least 25% of the time, 3 years old 50% of the time, 3.5 years old 75% of the time and by the time the students are in the 4-year-old classes and above, the Chinese teachers will be speaking English 100% of the time and supporting in Chinese.  

The Chinese curriculum partners with Kids ‘R’ Kids American curriculum. The students are learning almost the same words and terms in both English and Chinese on a daily basis. In addition, there is a strong cultural component on both sides of the curriculum, giving the students an exposure to a more global perspective.  

“Education of a child is not just about how many letters or numbers they know. It is about giving them the opportunity to explore as they begin to learn about who they are and their passions. Trying to put a child in a box of rote learning will never let them rise to their full potential. It is our goal to show our students the many paths that lay before them and to equip them with the skills to go down any road they may choose,” says Peterson.

She continues: “The education of children is at the core of my passion! I love the foundation that we are laying with these students and the fact that we are focusing on character development. Anyone can be smart, but it is something more to be personable, confident, open-minded, polite, generous, flexible, and kind – to name just a few other attributes. These are the characteristics we value within our Kids ‘R’ Kids community and these are the values they will take with them as they grow into our future global leaders! “

Enrolling students beginning at age 2, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Shanghai has opened six classes and will be expanding to ten classes in September. 


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