Our Kids Place
Our mission is to create an environment that is conducive to healthy learning for all of the students we serve. At Our Kids Place, we strive to engage our students using a curriculum that is balanced, rigorous and standards based. Our primary goals are to:
Ensure our students become independent thinkers, problem solvers, and for them to develop a love for learning and discovery. Teach students to be creative, expressive, well – rounded, and responsible. Develop self-esteem and respect for themselves and others in a safe, loving and sociable environment. Our success in this mission would be measured through our students’ achievement in acquiring the necessary skills to become leaders, lifelong learners, and productive members of society;thus, becoming assets to their community.
While raising my two daughters and interacting with children of all ages, I discovered that I had a strong connection with children and that they found a comfort zone within my presence. Shortly after this discovery, I founded a school bus company named LesRaine Transit, Inc. While providing this service, I realized there was a need for high-quality afterschool programs which would serve as a safe haven for young children of working parents. It was then I decided to take over Our Kids Place!
Motivating and encouraging students to become innovative and independent thinkers is a deep passion of mine. From an early age, I have been surrounded with a wide array of childcare practices and I only bring the best of those experiences to the table every day. My passion to bring out the best in my students and teachers is what motivates me to be the best I can be each day.
I started at OKP long before I knew what I wanted to do with my life. After completing my education at LIU Post, I realized that I was in love with business, specifically, management. Being at OKP is like having the best of both worlds. I am able to utilize my business degree but also fulfill my passion for molding and educating the youth in our community. Continuing to run the dance program each year is an added bonus to an already fulfilling job!
I always had a strong desire to teach. Although I went to school to study Psychology at Oakwood University in Alabama; I always knew teaching was my passion. In Oct. 2016, I walked through the halls of Our Kids Place and knew right away that it was predestined for me to be there. I started as an assistant teacher and in just a few months, I jumped at the opportunity to become the Pre-K 2 Lead Teacher. I live by the motto written on the walls in my classroom; “You have brains in your head, feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” Currently, I am enrolled in a Master’s Program at Touro University. It is my goal to continue to steer my students in the right direction!
Being a component of Our Kids Place has impacted my life tremendously. Not only are we a family but we ensure that we allow the kids to be a factor in our lives. We treat them like they’re our own kids and assist them in ways that can benefit them in life. The staff at OKP doesn’t just function as co-workers but operate as a family outside of our profession.
Hello! My name is Janay Contrejas and I am thrilled to say that I’ve been a part of OKP since I was a high school student. Working alongside our directors, teachers and staff to provide assistance and support to our families is an absolute pleasure. Working this close to a community of children has led me to pursue a dual degree (BA/MA) in Early Childhood/ Elementary/ Special Education with a concentration in English at Molloy College.
I have been teaching at OKP for three years now. My passion for teaching began in my early teenage years when I used to babysit as well as teach Sunday school at my church. I love being in the presence of children and learning from them. Now, I’m blessed with two boys that I love very much. They are the best thing that ever happened to me. They’ve helped me to become more caring and patient as a person and teacher. Our Kids Place gave me the opportunity to pursue my career and I am very grateful. I believe that being a teacher is very rewarding and I am happy that I have the opportunity to teach tomorrow’s future scholars.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved teaching children of all ages. Watching the
children in my class learn, grow and develop, not only mentally but physically, is what makes
teaching the most rewarding job to me. I have the three most beautiful and loving girls at home
who I cherish more than anything. As a veteran teacher with over seven years of experience, I
have always looked at and treated each child in my class as one of my girls at home. I love
working at OKP for so many reasons, but one of the things that I love most is that no matter
what, this place always feels like home. We are a family here at OKP and we always try to go
above and beyond to make our children and their parents feel like they are a part of that family.
That’s something that you don’t get at every school.