Our Story

Our Story

Our Story 2018-05-23T08:01:42+00:00

Welcome to The Gratitude Garden Preschool.

Finding a preschool that develops your child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and creative needs is an exciting experience. When I began exploring preschools for my daughter, it was important to find a curiosity-driven learning environment that picked up where we left off at home; a place where learning was so fun and natural that it was irresistible. Like every other parent, I wanted a clean and modern preschool reflecting current research and practice in early childhood education, with a balance of curiosity-driven STEM curriculum, exploration in nature, and the important development of gratitude, empathy, and resiliency. The need for this type of preschool for my daughter and every other young child became the inspiration for The Gratitude Garden Preschool and TESLA Country Day.

As a professor at Pepperdine University, a researcher, and a parent, I have carefully examined the needs of today’s children.

Using current theories and curricula in early childhood development, our team has carefully designed this school to address all developmental and intellectual needs of the 21st century learner.

We are a nature-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused school with emphasis on positive social and emotional development, artistic expression, and creativity. Early exposure to these concepts ignites intellectual creativity, critical thinking, and establishes a foundation of curiosity that supports academic well-being and a joy for learning. Our school draws inspiration from the schools of Reggio Emilia, however, we balance our day using a variety of philosophies, methods, and practices. We are one of a kind.

We utilize the rich teaching opportunities and discoveries of nature and animals. The classrooms are both indoors and outdoors, allowing students to explore, play and apply early concepts in math, engineering, science, art, ecology, and social skills. We invite the greater community into our school for demonstrations in various professions and trades. As a result, students learn to appreciate the world and people around them, and we take every opportunity to nurture such positive motivations and character strengths in our students.

The Gratitude Garden offers an innovative and well-rounded program for our future innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Please visit our campus to see our program in action.

I look forward to sharing the memorable preschool years with you and your child.

With Gratitude~

Dr. Dustine Rey
Founder /Executive Director

Learn more about Dr. Rey

Gratitude From Our Parents

When you walk into The Gratitude Garden Preschool, you feel like you walked into a Pinterest dream. Everything is beautiful, peaceful and inspiring. The rooms are always filled with essential oils diffusing to provide a calm and welcoming atmosphere. The toys are unique and well kept. Twinkle lights sparkle throughout the rooms. Teepees and fluffy pillows surrounded by books welcome a loving reading area. It’s perfect! It exactly what we wanted for our son. Not to mention the S.T.E.M. based learning powered by play! The opportunity to get messy, explore and manipulate their world, to play in the dirt, and make new friends all the while learning science and technology is what we needed for our son. 

Juliet E., Grateful Parent

Absolutely LOVE this school!! My daughter has blossomed right before my eyes. The warm atmosphere and caring staff makes it very reassuring that your child is in very good hands. My daughter went through the preschool program and is now in the kindergarten program and my son is now enrolled in their preschool. Dr. Rey and her staff are amazing at what they do. You won’t be disappointed.

Mike L., Grateful Parent

I just participated in a tour of this facility. As an educator and Mom, I was totally impressed. The way that STEM is integrated into the whole curriculum and the focus on the whole child really appealed to me. I also appreciated that all teachers have degrees. If you are looking for a place for your child, check them out. I just wish there was space for my child to start immediately!

Rochelle P., Grateful Parent

My wife and I can’t say enough about this school! The STEAM focused approach to learning is terrific and our daughter has learned so much in her 1 1/2 years at The Gratitude Garden. The entire staff is amazing! Our daughter loves being at school so much it’s hard to get her to leave every day! We’re blessed to have found such a wonderful school!

Stephen M., Grateful Parent

The best word to describe this school is Magical. It truly is such a special place — an amazing environment full of creativity and love on top of their amazing approach to STEAM-based education. The owner, director and teachers are like family to all of the parents, and our boys adore each and every one of them.

Danielle S., Grateful Parent

Dr. Rey and ALL of the teachers are loving and nurturing and I could not think of a better place for my son to spend his days! The children lead a healthy, naturalistic, creative and holistic day filled with exploration and imagination. Absolutely love this school and would recommend it to anyone seeking a different, hands on, outdoor approach to learning and exploring.

Michelle S., Grateful Parent

The Gratitude Garden Preschool is the type of preschool environment all children can thrive in. I love the philosophy behind the school. Nature based and Reggio-inspired STEM preschool (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). I’ve yet to see a program this well established. My sons are thriving at GG and come home with a huge smile on their faces and get excited about going back to school. It’s been a huge weight lifted on my shoulders knowing I can leave them somewhere where they can learn & grow. The director, Dr. Rey is one of a kind. With her extensive background and knowledge there is no other school like this out there.

Slim F., Grateful Parent