About Us

Our Story

PUKA School was founded in May 1973. It was incorporated as a not-for-profit educational corporation in 1974 and received tax-deductible status from the Internal Revenue Service in 1978. PUKA is classified as a 501©3.

PUKA is a Hawaiian word that refers to a small hole or hollow such as a nest that a mother foxes hollows out for her babies. In our school, the word PUKA refers specifically to the areas (child-sized and child-centered) where activities enhancing the growth and development of our children take place. In a larger sense, PUKA refers to the spirit of the whole school – that of providing a safe, healthy environment where children can grow with support and love.

Our Philosophy

PUKA School is a place where children, under the guidance and supervision of adults who understand their development needs, have an opportunity to grow and develop intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally. The center seeks to supplement the home in guiding the development of the child’s total abilities as he/she learns to relate to others, accept limits and discover his/her own potential.

PUKA School provides a climate in which the growth and the development of the child’s entire support structure is strengthened and the foundations of adequacy and independence are nurtured. While learning to live happily with themselves and their peers, the children have an opportunity to explore new concepts and discover their abilities. Growth in cooperation, self-discipline, initiative, independence, problem solving, and creative thinking is encouraged.