Creative Kids Academy Opens in Orono’s James J. Hill schoolhouse

Creative Kids Academy opens its newest early education center in Orono’s James J. Hill schoolhouse
Jada Preston-Harris left, and Linnea Martin learn beginners yoga from teacher Jessica Spore

Rajiv Garg worked in the corporate world for nearly 20 years, but something was missing. “I wanted to do something wholesome that would touch the lives of our community,” Garg says. He and his wife Sangeeta have four daughters of their own, three of whom they adopted from India, so they know the importance of family and community in kids’ lives. In 2009, they opened the first location of Creative Kids Academy, an early education provider. Garg’s goal is to give children “a sense of culture around community building,” and to incorporate enrichment like music, yoga and Spanish into more standard curricula.In early 2013, Creative Kids Academy opened its seventh location in Orono, and it’s not just any childcare center. The team purchased the Hill School building, a historic schoolhouse. “We restored the bell tower and added hand-painted murals. It’s a perfect environment with that historic ambience,” Garg says.