Dinuka Ranasinghe

Owner / Director

 

Born in England, raised in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka,  lived in London,  Washington D.C and New York, Dinuka eventually found her home in Long Beach, California with her husband.  Having graduated with an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Sussex, England, she was then admitted to the New York Bar. In 2008 she decided to follow her heart working with children so she continued studying, this time in early childhood development and completed over 20 units and to date continues to attend seminars and conferences in the field to further her knowledge.   She is the mother of two wonderful boys born in 2009 and 2011. 

"Going in to this I knew I would love it, but to keep on loving it more and more, with an ongoing education in life, seeing the children grow and overcome the obstacles that children face, whether it be building self-confidence, showing kindness and compassion,  just purely being prepared for the world out there, is my ever-growing motivation and love for early childhood development." Dinuka


3621 East Broadway,
Long Beach, CA 90803

562 438 4904

kidworkscc@hotmail.com

Mindfulness Teacher

Cary Saltsgaver


I teach mindfulness, meditation, and yoga .
I plant seeds of peace, love, and happiness in everyone I meet.
I reach out with compassionate understanding to lift the spirit of everyone I touch.
These practices bring transformation to people of all ages in ways that words cannot fully describe.

Please visit www.startwith3.net for more information about Cary's offerings



Jennifer Scharnikow

Jennifer was raised in Burbank and grew up knowing she wanted to be a teacher.  She moved to Long Beach in 1994 to attend CSULB , then transferred to Orange Coast to begin her Early Childhood education.  She volunteered at Kid Works in 1998 after which she was hired to be a teacher.  During her years here she has worked in all 3 of our classrooms.  Jennifer has over 30 Early Childhood class units, yet she is always open to learning more and advancing her knowledge as a preschool teacher.  She took a short hiatus in 2001 when her son, Jason was born and returned in 2004 with Jason in tow.  

“I feel extremely fortunate to have worked at Kid Works for my entire career and honestly cannot imagine working anywhere else.  I consider Kid Works my home away from home and everyone who has come through the doors is like my second family.  Although the time at Kid Works may seem like a mere moment in your child’s life, their  lessons and memories will last a lifetime!” 

 

Closing Teacher

Shauna White 


Shauna grew up in California and has recently moved to Long Beach from Hawai'i. She attended the University of Hawai'i where she earned her Bachelors of Education with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. "I have always enjoyed working with children, learning with them each day is a true passion of mine. I have been teaching in preschool settings for the last 3 1/2 years and am looking forward to continuing teaching as a part of the Kid Works Team!" 


 

Dana Ferrarelli

Rachael Cabos

Bio coming soon.

 

Garden Room Teachers  - Preschool for 3 year olds

Meet our Team...

 

Lisa Escobar


Lisa has been caring for children for over twenty years.  She has three children, two of whom are Kid Works alumni.  Lisa continues to further her knowledge of children through workshops and seminars.  Her love for emergent literacy and creative art are evident.   "We are all growing here at Kid Works.  It has been such an honor and privilege to experience the amazing growth of so many wonderful children.  I am grateful for the opportunity to learn with the children in a creative and nurturing environment.  Throughout this journey I have been so fortunate to be a witness to the most special and significant moments of childhood.  For that I am so humbled and so grateful."

 

 

Abby Popovich 

Co-Director 

​Abby was raised in the Midwest, living the first 25 years of her life in Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University with her degree in Psychology and completed her Masters of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2015. Having a love for young children and knowing the vital role the early years of life play, she focused her studies on early childhood mental health. Moving to California in 2015 and luckily landing in beautiful Belmont Heights, Abby stumbled upon Kid Works. She spent a year and a half as a teacher in the Garden Room before transitioning into her current role. When she is not at Kid Works Abby enjoys yoga, cooking and hiking. 

“It is my hope that all children are able to creatively, emotionally and socially thrive in all areas of their lives, or at the least be given a chance to do so. I am thankful to have found a place that holds the same passions for early childhood experiences as I do and am blessed to watch the magic, joy and wonderment created by your remarkable little ones on a daily basis.”

"A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart" 
- author unknown

 

Center Assistant

Kimberly Garcia 

 

Bungalow Teacher / Director - Enrichment Pre-Kinder Program for 5 year olds

 

​Lucy Picon


Lucy was born and raised in Long Beach. Because her mother was a preschool teacher, Lucy was able to volunteer in many centers. At an early age Lucy knew she wanted a career that involved children. She became a student at Long Beach Community College. Still unsure what field of child care she would embark, she joined Kid Works family as the centers assistant in 2014. In three years Lucy has observed and admired the tremendous growth children make. She substituted for the Spanish Immersion program in 2016, leading her to an opportunity in becoming a garden room teacher starting the following year. Lucy continues her knowledge of children threw LBCC classes, workshops, seminars and of course in the Garden room. 


Dana is a third generation Californian and a Long Beach native with over 30 years of experience working with children.  Married in 1980, she graduated from Long Beach City College in 1982 with a degree in Child Development.  She continued in Early Childhood Education
studies and was certified in 1984.  She began teaching in 1983 and accepted the opportunity of becoming a charter teacher at Kid Works when it opened its doors in 1987 at its old location on 7th Street.  In 1991 she chose to be a full-time mom and now has two young adult sons, Sam and Luke.  During that time she was an active school volunteer, working in the classroom with children of all grades.  A lover of history, Dana broadened her volunteerism by becoming a living history participant in many southern California locations and locally as a school docent at Rancho Los Cerritos, where fourth grade students visit as part of their California history curriculum.  Dana returned to Kid Works in 2011, becoming a Sun Room teacher in 2012.  She continues her education by studying in the University of Wisconsin's Early Childhood Education Professional Development Program, attending professional conferences and workshops and doing independent study.  In her spare time she enjoys sewing, gardening, home projects and being outdoors.

"I felt called to teach since I was about ten years old.  The preschool years are a beautiful time of a child's life--a treasure--and a time when the need for appropriate life experiences are the most critical.  I teach because I value the season of life called preschool and want to do all I can to pass on a love of learning, a concern for others and a lifelong curiosity in the things around us." 

Administrative Assistant

Samantha Ortiz

Sun Room Teachers - Pre-Kinder Program for 4 year olds