Cornerstone Educational Preschool
The nonprofit Cornerstone Educational Preschool's innovative approach to early education reaches and nurtures children diagnosed under the autism spectrum.
More than 100,000 children in the U.S. are receiving services for autism, a type of brain processing that begins in early childhood and persists throughout adulthood. Cornerstone Educational Preschool reaches dozens of preschool-age youth (2 ½ to 5 ½ years old) and their families each year through virtual classes that follow a research-based curriculum created by Dr. Dustow. Parents and caregivers can schedule class sessions, which are led from a fully equipped classroom in Lanai City, Hawaii.
The program has successfully mainstreamed children with autism into successful, productive educational environments.
Cornerstone is committed to fostering a variety of learning styles, which are important components to the identity of a student and as an individual. By building on a student’s strengths, Cornerstone provides the gateway for academic learning while uncovering each child's hidden social abilities.
Children need to know, just like adults, that transitions have purpose and meaning, and that the act of transition is a movement that is beneficial to human existence. The school's "Bridging Realities Bilaterally" curriculum focuses on developing sensory, academic and real-life skills, with the goal of mainstreaming the student.
Focus, Mission & Vision
Cornerstone Educational Preschool offers an encouraging learning environment, providing the feeling of safety, accomplishment, respect, and understanding for every child. Our focus is on the child and their needs, and empowering the families and caregivers.
Cornerstone’s mission is its bottom line— finding real answers for real concerns to ensure the development of the child. Cornerstone Educational Preschool is a nonprofit that builds curriculum around the child, rather than placing a child in a curriculum. The key to this alternative learning approach is to focus on meeting areas of learning through the child’s strengths.
The preschool's vision is to reach out to children through validating learning styles, so that each individual feels empowered to make a difference by understanding his or her inner gifts. Cornerstone builds bridges between inner realities to the outer world.
Cornerstone Educational Preschool began with five students in fall 2008 in partnership with the Waiokeola Church Preschool in Hawaii. Two years later, Dr. Dustow created an independent nonprofit preschool and purchased a former (purple) church in Lanai City, Hawaii.
She soon began renovations to open Cornerstone, offering a fully equipped classroom setting for virtual classes with the ability to reach students and their families around the world.
We need to prepare students for inclusion, or mainstream classroom situations. To accomplish this, children need to feel safe, know that their needs will be met and that they will succeed.
- Dr. Jennifer Dustow
Dr. Dustow offers individual in-person and virtual consultation services for educators and parents, providing classroom behavioral support and training across the autism spectrum. This includes:
Ongoing follow up
Training for support team
Training for educators and administrators
She also offers on-site parent and caregiver training, both in-home
Dr. Jennifer Dustow
Founder & Director
Dr. Dustow is a globally recognized autism specialist, researcher and author. She holds a Doctorate in Education and has extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum.
Ms. Eller previously worked as a registered nurse (RN) and a Realtor Associate in Hawaii. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN).
Mr. Dolera retired as a Captain from the Honolulu Police Department after 26 years of service. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Kimberly Miyasaki Lee
Ms. Miyasaki Lee is a New York-based fiction writer and Emmy-Award-winning journalist. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast news from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Mr. Dustow is a retired professional international marathon runner sponsored by Reebok Canada.