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What to Know While Your Baby Grows

Becoming a mother is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. Your child will change you and shape your life in ways that you cannot yet imagine. Here are five important things to remember during your pregnancy.

  1. Do research, but don’t go overboard. Learning about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting is good, but overloading on information might cause undue stress and worry. Know when to say when.
  2. Trust your instincts. Having moments of nervousness or self-doubt while you are pregnant is common and completely normal. Trust your instincts and your doctor.
  3. Ask for or accept help. It’s okay to ask for help. Many people will want to help you. If you want their help, accept it.
  4. Take a first-time parents class. Use this opportunity to ask questions, practice breathing techniques, develop a birth plan, network with other new parents and much more.
  5. Assemble a dream team. When you’re about five months into your pregnancy, start thinking about who you want on your “baby team,” both while you’re pregnant and after you’ve given birth. For example, find a good pediatrician. Consider recommendations from trusted friends and family members, and do your own research, too.

Five Fun Ways to Limit Screen Time for Your Preschooler

Guest Post
by Amber O’Brien, on-site owner of The Goddard School located in Forest Hill, MD

I am an onsite owner of a Goddard School, an education-based franchise preschool, and my faculty and I recently noticed that one of the three-year-old students had become increasingly tired in the morning and started having frequent meltdowns in the classroom. She had also become more difficult to wake after naptime. Communication between the parents and the teachers produced the reasons for the child’s change of behavior. The parents revealed that they had recently started giving an iPad to their daughter at bedtime and were letting her put herself to sleep. We explained the negative effects of too much screen time, especially at night, and encouraged the parents not to hand their child a device at bedtime.

In our increasingly technological world, devices are here to stay. Set boundaries and limits now so Preschool Computerdevices become teaching tools instead of detracting from precious interactions with family members. The introduction of smaller devices creates more opportunities to increase children’s screen time and a greater temptation for tired parents to hand their children a device. In parenting, the easy thing is often not the best thing, and we must always think about the long-term results of our choices.

As a parent of three teenage children, I know firsthand how difficult it is to stop devices from slowly creeping into our home life. My advice is to set boundaries now, because when your children are older and have cell phones, it will become increasingly difficult to monitor how much they use their devices. Habits children learn as preschoolers can pay dividends long into the future. Setting boundaries that you and your spouse both agree on and providing many fun and enriching alternative activities may be the key to a happy home where the children are not overtired and healthy relationships can grow.

You may be thinking to yourself, “I already know that too much screen time is not healthy, but what I need is some practical help. How can I limit my child’s screen time, and what are some fun activities we can do with our preschooler at home?” I believe the answer is balance. At The Goddard School, we provide a variety of interactions for the children so screen time does not distract them from other fun and stimulating activities. Consistency between the home and school is very important, and the expert and professional teachers in our classroom environments can teach us all a lot.

  1. Limit your child to only 15 minutes of screen time.

    Students at The Goddard School receive a limited amount of screen time. The tablets and computers in the classroom are teaching tools and only contain educational apps and games. Since students must take turns in the classroom, the students quickly learn that they cannot use the computer or tablet for more than 15 minutes.I suggest setting your phone timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, or a few minutes before it goes off, remind your child that he or she should be finishing the game. Setting a 15-minute limit teaches your child that individuals are in control of electronic devices and not the other way around. Remember that these educational games are great teaching tools, but they should never replace the human interaction of snuggle time at night, and you shouldn’t use them to end a tantrum or to babysit a child.

  2. Make bedtime the most special time of the day.

    Not only was using the tablet depriving the above-mentioned three-year-old of enough sleep at night, but it also deprived her of precious snuggle time and the experience of sharing books with a parent. While educational games are a wonderful supplement for helping your child learn basic skills, they can never replace the joy of sharing a funny or touching book.Studies have recently shown that the blue light on computer screens interferes with the melatonin that helps people drift off to sleep. A sleep-deprived child is not a happy child. According to Charles Czeisler from the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, “Children become hyperactive rather than sleepy when they don’t get enough sleep, and have difficulty focusing attention, so sleep deficiency may be mistaken for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”1

    Ensuring that your child has enough sleep will give him or her a better chance for a more successful day with better behavior. Spend a little extra time at night to ensure that your child receives a warm relaxing bath, a chance to debrief and lots of snuggle time, which may help encourage a happier morning the following day. Make bath time fun with lots of bath toys and foam letters, and make story time special by asking questions and use different voices as you read to your preschooler.

    Don’t allow a TV in your child’s room, and take away all devices before bath and story time. Bedtime should be a time to unwind and slowly prepare for a deep refreshing sleep.

  3. Create an imaginative play area in your home.

    At The Goddard School, the students have so many fun, hands-on activities available that they are excited to start the next activity when their tablet or computer time ends. Look around your child’s classroom and take mental notes. Try to include similar materials and activities in an accessible area of your home to encourage your child’s imaginative play.Collect costumes, clothing and accessories your child can use to play dress-up. Create a play kitchen where your child can imitate you as you prepare dinner. Include clean boxes, containers and utensils from your kitchen. Add an easel and art supplies to a craft area. You could also create areas with a cash register so your child can learn about money, matching sets of cards for playing memory games to increase concentration, coloring books, clay or kinetic sand.

    Provide bins with different types of manipulatives, such as puzzles, LEGO, Lincoln Logs and other building materials. I would often give my children old magazines and child-safe scissors, and then I would watch as they happily cut out pictures and letters while developing their fine motor skills. Just as your child’s teachers put out different centers each day, take out new items and put away other items to pique your child’s interest. The more non-electronic activities you have available, the easier it will be for your child to hand over the tablet or turn off the TV.  If an adult comes down to the child’s level and plays with the child, the chances of a tantrum-free transition increases.

  4. Make meal times meaningful.

    Meal times should be about more than putting nutrients in our bodies. They should also be a time to reconnect with our family members and talk about one another’s days. At The Goddard School, teachers sit at the table with the children and eat with them. The children are encouraged to wait until everyone has their food, and they learn good table manners from watching their teachers.Make sure you read the daily activity report and use this information to ask your child about his or her day. Ask about the book that the teacher read, the fun outdoor activity or the messy process art activity. By asking questions about your child’s day, your child simultaneously learns lifetime lessons about communicating and extends the learning of the school day. Some families have each member describe a high and a low for the day. This enriching exercise helps all the family members learn to listen and share the successes and challenges of their days. I often ask my family, “What was something good that happened today?” I want my children to realize that each day has some good in it.

    At meal times, turn off all TVs, cell phones and other devices and give all of your attention to one another.

  5. Use physical touch and exercise.

    Preschoolers need touch and fun physical interactions with the people who love them. Children, like adults, receive and perceive love partly through physical touch and quality time.For our monthly icebreaker at our last PTO meeting in January, I asked the parents to describe their favorite non-electronic activity to do with their preschoolers. Parents smiled while describing playing hide and go seek and tickle monster with their children. One parent has set up tunnels to create an obstacle course in the basement, and the entire family goes downstairs to run races and play together.

    Children love to dance, so try putting on some dance music and dancing together as a family after dinner every night. Try playing a variety of musical genres as we do at school. The children’s favorites include “Let It Go” from Frozen, the dance song “I Like to Move It” and, of course, the chicken dance and the hokey pokey. A fun game of freeze dance, where everyone freezes when the music stops, teaches concentration and produces lots of giggles and smiles.

    Play classic games, such as duck, duck, goose; ring around the rosy; and London Bridge. All of these games include physical touch and whole body movement, and they provide valuable social interactions.

One of our most important goals as parents is to build healthy, close relationships with our children that will last a lifetime. We want our children to have more memories of reading bedtime stories and playing hide and go seek with us and fewer memories of us texting on our cell phones. Show your child that you are in control of all media and devices, provide alternate activities and choose to set boundaries, especially for meal times and bedtime.

 

1 Czeisler, C. (May 23, 2013). Perspective: Casting light on sleep deficiency. Nature, 497, S13. doi:10.1038/497S13a

Language and Literacy Series: Context, Conversation and Non-Verbal Clues

Susan Magsamen is the Senior Vice President of Early Learning at global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt She is a member of the Educational Advisory Board for the Goddard School and senior advisor to The Science of Learning Institute and Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University.  This piece was originally published on HMH’s blog.

Young children are natural experts when it comes to learning critical skills. Unlike ot072O4649her mammals, babies need adult help for nearly everything. In their first year, while kittens are already batting at mice and colts are walking on their own, young humans are studying and mimicking their parents. Children come to understand that their survival depends on learning from their families and environments. As they acquire language skills, little ones become attuned to using words and gestures to help express what they feel and to get what they need.

In 1995, University of Kansas researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley published a seminal study on vocabulary acquisition in preschool aged children, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children. Hart and Risley spent over two years studying the lives of 42 families of varied socioeconomic backgrounds, discovering substantial differences in how families spoke with children and how many words children were exposed to regularly. This research underscored the core principle that exposure to language early and often is crucial in preparing young children for success and closing achievement gaps at the elementary school level.

But language is not only about verbal skills and words. Context, gesture and environmental awareness are key factors in the way humans communicate, and young learners pay close attention here as well.

Erica Cartmill, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UCLA, has produced fascinating research on the dynamic relationship between early social interactions and infant communicative development. Her research reinforces the theory that preschool vocabulary is a major predictor of school success, with particular focus on the role that both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication play in language acquisition. She notes that gesture in particular is an essential tool for children before they are fluid with verbal language.

As we can easily imagine, most of the words very young children acquire are derived from their parents’ vocabulary. But more than hearing words, the non-verbal clues that parents give toddlers about words are part of the context of learning, and influence the depth of children’s vocabularies upon entering school.

As parents and caregivers, we can take advantage of the experiences we share with our children to support language acquisition, especially if we keep in mind their perspective.

Here are our top six practical, everyday suggestions to help boost vocabulary in early learners:

  • See Something, Say Something: Describe things that are happening as they are happening, e.g. “Here comes a dog,” as opposed to “We’re going to see a dog.” Children have been shown to learn words more quickly when they can see and feel the object, as opposed to an abstract word with no apparent context.
  • Be Descriptive: Encourage children to describe what they see. Typically when we point out objects to young children, for example a cow, car, boat, etc., we get stuck on nouns. Invite descriptions including shape and color (adjectives) and movement (verbs).
  • Practice Anytime, Anywhere: Take advantage of time in the car or at the supermarket to practice word play, pointing out objects of interest as you talk about them to help provide immediate context and explanation.
  • Provide Feedback: Reflect back what children say to you. This confirms their experience and affirms their ability to have a successful conversation.
  • Use Non-Verbal Clues: Remember; children are sensitive to gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice and other non-verbal actions, both in conversation and in educational situations.
  • Offer Positive Reinforcement: When children are pointing at people or objects, validate and name them.

The Goddard School® Announces Recipient of the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship

Former Student, Haley Malloy, Awarded $10,000 Toward College Tuition

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA (June 2, 2015)The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusingHaley1
on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, proudly announces Haley Malloy of Henrico, VA as the winner of the 7th annual Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is open nationally to seniors in high school who have graduated from The Goddard School Pre-K or Kindergarten program, and is awarded to one applicant who has demonstrated the work ethic and perseverance that exemplified Anthony A. Martino, the founder of The Goddard School franchise system.

Haley graduated from the Pre-K program at The Goddard School located in Henrico, VA in 2002, and credits much of her academic success and career path to her early experiences at The Goddard School. Having already made the decision to attend Texas Christian University, Haley will be pursuing a degree in early education when she begins college this fall. Katrina David and Matthew Newman who attended The Goddard Schools located in Sayreville, NJ and Montgomeryville, PA respectively, were selected as finalists for the scholarship.

“The Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship provides us with a way to continue supporting our students long after they have left our schools,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. “We aim for our students to be fully prepared, confident learners when they leave our schools, and we are delighted to help lessen the financial burden of college for these promising young adults so they can focus on their academic journey.”

The Goddard School has awarded more than $70,000 to its alumni through the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship program, and that number will continue to grow as more and more former students prepare for the leap into college.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

Promoting Healthy Eating for Your Child

Guest Post
by Patricia Lutner

Obesity in children and adults is at an all-time high in our country. Obesity rates in children have doubled over the past 30 years. Children and adults are experiencing more physical and psychological conditions due to obesity. Poor academic performance, behavior issues and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression can be related to being overweight.

Healthy-EatingYou can do a variety of things to encourage your children to adopt a healthy lifestyle. First, set a good example. What a child sees you doing they will do. What they see you eating, they will eat. Therefore, the choices you make about food and exercise help establish your children’s habits.

Preparing meals together is a good way to get children involved and to start the conversation about foods and healthy food choices. Cooking helps develop math, fine motor, hygiene and listening skills. It also helps strength the parent-child connection. Eating healthy meals together can encourage positive conversations, strengthen family bonds and provide examples of positive eating habits and good table manners for your children.

During a trip to the grocery store with your child, discuss different fruits and vegetables, their colors, their smells and their textures. Encourage your child to take a chance with you and try something new!
Don’t make children clean their plates. Children will usually stop eating when they have had enough. By forcing children to clean their plates, parents may encourage overeating. Portion size is the key here. For children who are picky eaters, you can offer new foods in small amounts. It may take multiple attempts to convince the child to taste the food. Don’t give up. Try cutting foods into various shapes that appeal to the child, or add ketchup, yogurt or mustard for dipping.

Offer children snacks, but make sure they don’t have too many and the snacks are healthy. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers are some good options.
Offer children water, milk (of any type your doctor recommends) and 100% juice. Children should not have soda or beverages with caffeine.

We should also not forget the value of exercise. Keep moving, burn off those calories, strengthen your muscles and have fun! There are many simple ways to be active as a family. Take a walk together, dance to fun music, play tag or have a race in the backyard. All of these are free and easy to do.
The benefits of establishing a healthy, active lifestyle for you and your child will last a lifetime.
For information on the food groups, the food plate, serving sizes for children of different ages and many other helpful tips, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Language and Literacy Series: What Reading Looks Like Together

Susan Magsamen is the Senior Vice President of Early Learning at global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is a member of the Educational Advisory Board for The Goddard School and senior advisor to The Science of Learning Institute and Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University.  This piece was originally published on HMH’s blog.

Reading TogetherOne of my favorite sayings is “If you take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.”  I can think of no other moment more precious and invaluable to ensuring a strong foundation than reading with a child – whether in the classroom, at home or in the library.

Language and literacy is the foundation for all learning. It’s a major portal through which the other learning domains unfold including math, science, social studies, creative expression, proficiency with technology, social /emotional development, 21st century skills, executive functioning and healthy, physical development.

We know that children acquire early, emergent literacy skills through various verbal and non-verbal forms. Books, in both print and digital form, have a well-earned and beloved role to play in supporting early literacy. They offer a unique progression of experiences.

While digital content brings its own unique benefits in terms of interaction and engagement, exposing young children to real books —so they have a full tactile and sensory experience of books — is always a good idea. Letting young children spend time alone with books, turning the pages and having an “up close and personal” involvement with the pictures and the letters on the page can stimulate their imagination and set the stage for self-driven exploration.

Reading books to children is equally valuable and establishes an especially positive and meaningful relationship as you read together. That meaningful relationship is the seedbed upon which a child’s confidence can flourish.

Interactive reading takes this a step further. Though it sounds like a tech term, it doesn’t have to be. It’s simply a style of reading with children that uses all elements of the book as a springboard for fuller exploration. That exploration might lead you to an app, online or real-time activity. For example, a story about baking cookies could lead to actual cookie baking; a story about finding a treasure could lead to drawing a treasure map.

Editor and author Jason Boog, is a real champion of interactive reading. Here he shares a list of print books provided by the American Library Association that are rich with opportunities for interactive reading.

Below are just a few examples of some great interactive reading books that support important skill development for early learners to get you started:big-green-monster

Social Emotional Development:

  • “Go Away Big Green Monster” by Ed Emberly

This book helps children unpack their fear of the unknown by literally taking it apart one page at a time.

Executive Function:give-a-mouse-a-cookie

  • “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff

There is no better way to understand process, consequences, and cause and effect than these delightful books.

  • “Curious George Saves His Pennies” by H.A. Reycg-saves-pennies

Helping young children learn and understand self-regulation and judgment are essential skills for lifelong success. Curious George explores through playful  trial-and-error exploration.

21st Century Skills:

  • “Jumanji” by Chris Van Allsburgjumanji

Innovation, creative problem solving, and collaboration are demonstrated through this amazing adventure where the world changes all the time.

Social Studies:

  • “Ultimate Weird But True,” National Geographicultimate-weird-but-true

Packed with tons of really cool, wacky facts that get little kids totally excited and engaged about the real world.

Over the next several weeks I look forward to discussing the power of language and literacy from some unusual points of view. What does gesture, behavior modeling, sound and vocabulary have to do with learning critical skills? How do you foster a love of reading with so many distractions? How do you use ebooks and other digital media and tools effectively to inspire a love of language and words? I will also provide ideas, recommendations and tips on ways to engage young learners.

Enjoy!

Long Days, Short Years: Enjoy Them While You Can

by Michael Petrucelli, on-site owner of The Goddard School located in Darien, IL
As seen in Suburban Life Magazine

“Long days, short years.” How true these words are for parents. Several years ago, a mom with college age children said those words to me, and they resonate with me every day as a father, and as the owner of a preschool.

Family 03_jpgBeing a parent is one of the most challenging and most rewarding things we can experience in life. We are so busy trying to be the best parent we can be (while fulfilling our other obligations to work, family, and the community) that we may lose sight of how precious every moment with our children can be. It isn’t always easy to muster the energy to read a book with your child as part of a goodnight ritual after a long day. It isn’t always easy to take it a step slower at the store so that your children can look around and explore. It isn’t always easy to go outside after dinner to practice baseball or soccer with your children. It isn’t always easy, but it is always important.

My son is nearly twelve, my oldest daughter is nearly eleven, and my youngest daughter is eight. I remember the day each was born like it was yesterday. Along the journey, there have been plenty of sleepless nights filled with worry, illnesses, bumps and bruises, spills and messes, and emotional outbursts (not just by the kids), as parts of many long days. I have been fortunate to have been able to spend quality time with my children: just hanging out, coaching their sports teams, projects that always took extra time with my “helpers,” family dinners.

I remember a Saturday morning about two years ago though. I woke up to spend the day with my children, like we usually do. I was informed that everyone had a play date. I didn’t know what to do! This meant that the two-hour project I had to do, would only take two hours, and not three because my children wanted to “help.” It meant that I could sit down and read the newspapers without interruption. It didn’t feel good at first because it seemed like a very long day without them, but then I remembered that it is all a part of our journey through life together.

Keep all of this in mind as summer approaches. The “long” days of summer present extra opportunities to spend quality time with your children. Take a walk to a park or playground. Run around in the yard and play hide and seek or tag. Plant a vegetable garden, and check on the progress all summer. Visit the zoo, walk around a local town to explore, or find a nature preserve to visit. If the kids wake up early on Saturday or Sunday, rather than setting them in front of the TV, go for a walk or a run with them, or make a special breakfast together. We used to live not far from a small pond that we could pass by during a run. I would load up the double jog stroller with two of my children. We would bring bread, and I would stop our run so we could feed the ducks. We would then set back on our trek that was always filled with new things to see and discuss.

So when you are a little late getting out of the house because your son or daughter needs to say goodbye to the fish, or because they forgot a mitten, or your children wake up early on Saturday morning and want to play; try to cherish how long the days are, because the years are short.

Goddard Systems Honors National Teacher of the Year Award Recipients

Four Passionate Educators Recognized During National Teacher Appreciation Week

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – May 4, 2015 – Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, honors four extraordinary early childhood educators as their ninth annual “Teacher of the Year” award recipients during National Teacher Appreciation Week on May 4-8, 2015.

Each “Teacher of the Year” honoree from The Goddard School developed a long-term project that has benefitted their classroom, school or community. Projects from the selected teachers include a Good Manners Musical to inspire and reinforce polite behavior; Pen Pal Patriots for children to connect with members from the Armed Forces and learn about patriotism; STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Parent Workshops designed to educate parents on how they can support learning at home; and an Alex’s Lemonade Stand to help raise funds for childhood cancer research.

“At The Goddard School, our Educational Advisory Board and Goddard Systems University push for the highest standards in early childhood education,” says Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “With more than 10,000 Goddard School teachers nationwide, we employ the very best teachers around and we are thrilled to be recognizing this year’s recipients for their passion and dedication in enlightening young minds for future success.”

The following teachers are honored:

Angie Petrillo – Wayne, NJ

Angie Petrillo, pre-kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Wayne, NJ, created a playful and educational program named “Good Manners – A Medieval Quest for Polite Behavior.” Students dance and sing their way through lessons as they follow two eccentric knights on a quest to reinstate good manners in a cursed kingdom. With over 60 cast members from 6 weeks to 6 years old and a full set and costumes designed for the Middle Ages, the 30-minute musical play guides the children in discovering polite behavior in a creative and entertaining setting.

Gerianne Holl – Cranberry Township, PA

Gerianne Holl, pre-kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Cranberry Township, PA, created Pen Pal Patriots, a program for children to learn about patriotism and build empathy. Motivated by her family’s military background, Gerianne provided opportunities for her students to send cards and monthly care packages to troops in the U.S. Navy stationed in Bahrain. Conducting “Skyping Days” several times a year, children work together to develop and write questions to learn about the service members as well as wear red, white and blue in support of those away from home.

Ryan Mayes – Goodyear, AZ

Ryan Mayes, preschool teacher at The Goddard School located in Goodyear, AZ, spearheaded STEAM Parent Workshops to educate parents and provide tools for them to reinforce STEAM concepts at home. Because children experience the deepest, most genuine learning when they are having fun, Ryan incorporates this philosophy into every aspect of teaching.

Valerie Schmitzer – Doylestown II, PA

Valerie Schmitzer, kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Doylestown (Farm Lane), PA, developed a hands-on approach to creating a difference in the world. Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a charitable program designed to help fight childhood cancer, has inspired Valerie and her students in creating a Lemonade Stand of their own. With the hopes of raising awareness and helping to find a cure for children battling cancer, Valerie and the children have collaborated in creating the stand, making and selling lemonade. Donating all proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the children learn that they can make a difference by providing hope, and work to set an example to encourage and empower others to do the same.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

The Goddard School® Announces Stephanie Lane As Director Of The Year Honoree

Educational Director Of The Goddard School Located In Exton, PA Celebrated With Prestigious Award

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – April 29, 2015 – The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, today announced the Director of the Year honoree and selected Stephanie Lane from The Goddard School located in Exton, PA to receive this outstanding recognition.

Stephanie Lane, Educational Director at The Goddard School located in Exton, PA, has been a valued, loyal member of the administrative team for over six years and was a dedicated teacher prior to taking on a managerial role. Working side by side with her teaching team, Stephanie’s passion for early education, along with her mantra for making learning meaningful, ensures The Goddard School children receive lesson plans that are purposeful, fun and cohesive. She regularly looks for resources to support and challenge the teachers while acting as a mentor, skilled communicator and active listener. Stephanie and her faculty were energetic participants in the Chess at Three pilot program, a story-based curriculum of enjoyable and fun stories that teaches chess to children starting at 3 years old. Her work with Keystone STARS, an initiative of Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning, supports her mission to always improve the quality of early childhood education. Thanks to her dedication to excellence and completing her Director Credential, The Goddard School located in Exton, PA has been awarded  STAR 4 status (the highest status available)  by the Keystone STARS program.

“Working alongside passionate and enthusiastic professionals, I am proud to lead The Goddard School in providing outstanding, quality early childhood education,” said Stephanie. “It is an honor to have been chosen as Director of the Year and I look forward to continuing to uphold the standard of excellence that has been set by The Goddard School.

The Director of the Year award program recognizes a director with a minimum of two years of experience, GSI-approved Director Mentor status, consistent Quality Assurance scores of at least 95% in all areas, an education plan that exceeds standards and ongoing participation in Goddard University for the award recipient and faculty.

“For the past seven years, we have recognized on a daily basis the dedication Stephanie exhibits towards the children, the teachers and our Goddard families,” said Wendy Cohen and Melissa Capodanno, co-owners of The Goddard School located in Exton, PA. “Our school has extremely high standards which Stephanie consistently exceeds. This is evidenced by her receiving this distinguished honor of Director of the Year and we are so proud Stephanie is part of our Goddard School family!”

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

THE GODDARD SCHOOL HOSTS ANNUAL “ROOT FOR EARTH” CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS NATIONWIDE

Preschoolers Unite To Help Encourage A Happier, Healthier Earth

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – April 20, 2015The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, announces their 5th annual Root for Earth campaign. Taking place in more than 400 Goddard School preschools across the nation, Root for Earth aims to teach children and families about the importance of eco-conscious stewardship as well as raise environmental awareness in their communities.

The Goddard School children will participate in hands-on learning activities including building Children%20Running_jpgcommunity gardens, recycled fashion runways and more. Each year, the schools participate in an Upcycling Challenge which fosters creativity and imagination by engaging children to create new projects out of unwanted materials. Photos of the “green” creations will be shared on The Goddard School National Facebook Page where the public can vote for their favorite project until Friday, April 24. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 27. As a symbol of unity and environmental awareness, the week-long campaign from Monday, April 20 through Friday, April 24 will include the “Lights Out!” initiative. Each school across the nation will shut off all non-essential lighting for an hour beginning at 10 a.m. local time on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22.

“Early environmental education helps shape children’s values, perspectives and understanding of the planet and how to interact with it. At The Goddard School, we teach children about how to play a critical role in protecting and preserving what the Earth has given us.” said Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “Root for Earth acts as catalyst for our children to put forth an active effort and blossom into eco-conscious stewards.”

“The benefits of gardening are endless for young children. The opportunity to develop 21st century skills, like critical thinking and creativity, are presented when kids work toward a goal, such as weeding and watering before the harvest, or writing stories about their garden,” says Dave Snyder, manager of facilities and playgrounds at Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School. “Children learn cognitive skills including mathematics and science by documenting and measuring the growth of plants, and they can exercise their fine and gross motor skills through use of simple gardening tools. Though gardens are minimal in cost to create, they offer a wealth of developmental opportunities.”

At The Goddard School, environmental responsibility does not begin and end with the Root for Earth campaign. The Goddard School curriculum includes year-round eco-friendly and nature focused activities that aid children in exploring and fostering their curiosity for the world around them.

For more information on The Goddard School and the Root for Earth campaign, visit www.goddardschool.com.

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