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- (April 2011): we were unable to find a license number for this preschool at CCLD.
My kids have been attending Golestan kids from the beginning and we couldn't be happier. Our 4 year old is in the preschool program and our 6 year old goes there after school. Besides learning another language they have a variety of classes such as cooking, art, music, yoga, gardening and dance. My kids love the school! Although it is a Persian language immersion school, I would recommend it for non-Persian speaking families as well since your child would be exposed not only to another language, but a very warm culture, with delicious organic lunches and snacks daily! Their toddler program is also amazing and the teachers are extremely warm and kinds and with the amazing director all create an amazing curriculum. My kids often surprise me with what they learn at Golestan telling me all about the solar system and bringing home knitted projects. Come for a visit and you will see what an amazing place this is!
Re: Spanish and Waldorf-type preschool>
My son and nephew both go to Golestan Kids, a Persian (Farsi) language immersion in Berkeley. As far as environments go, as a person who likes the Waldorf philosophy, you won't find a more ideal place for your child. You have to see it to believe it... but hurry, I think there may be a waiting list for next year.
If your goal with #1 is to teach your son a second language for the benefits of being bilingual (there are so many), then this is the place for you. If your goal is to specifically teach him Spanish as a toddler, then it's not. It isn't too late to teach Spanish at 5 or 6 years of age - in fact, he'll have an easier time learning it if he's already bilingual. Either way, you should definitely get in touch with the director (yalda [at] golestankids.com) because the school is also a language resource center for bilingual kdis of any background. happy parent
My kids have been at Golestan for 1.5 years now. My daughter started there just before turning 2 and my son who is 6 goes there after school 3 days a week. It is a Farsi immersion school, with many mixed families (in ours my husband is Iranian and I am American). The kids LOVE it -- in fact my daughter gets mad at me on the weekends when she can't go to Golestan.
While speaking Farsi is a large part of the experience, it is an incredibly warm, loving, supportive, creative, fun environment. The kids (of many ages) eat lunch toegher that is provided on site -- healthy and environmentally friendly meals, with some of the food coming from the garden in the back. The facilities are beautiful. But the warmth and good vibes come from the excellent teachers and staff. We love it! Jen
I started at Golestan as a volunteer last year despite the cost of commuting from SF b/c it's such an incredible place, now I'm helping them on the development side. Currently, my daughter's name is on the wait list @ Golestan. Golestan is a Farsi immersion program, I love everything about this school from the environment, teachers, organic food, and curriculum. I've never seen another school like this before. I know they have a few spots available right now, highly recommend you contact the director and schedule a tour so you can see this amazing place for yourself! Tamara
Golestan Farsi-Immersion Preschool/Daycare (West Berkeley )
Yes, my 19-month-old and my sister's child will be going there in a few months, and several friends' children are there now. After meeting the founder and the teachers last spring, I was impressed enough to join Golestan's board (it is a non-profit).
Golestan, if you don't know, is primarily geared for Iranian-American children--all the teaching is done if Farsi, and the kids are mostly children of couples with one Iranian partner. It started from a rapidly growing play group that transformed itself into a non-profit under the leadership of a dynamic woman named Yalda Modabber. Golestan is the only Farsi-immersion preschool in the Bay Area.
The curriculum is based on Montessori, Reggio and Waldorf methodologies--very attentive and creative, and a great ratio of kids to teachers. It is housed in a big, beautiful remodeled house on fifth street next to the fourth street commercial district, with a big back yard, a vegetable garden and all-natural toys and teaching materials. the website is www.golestankids.com