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Five Ways to Prevent “Summer Slide”

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Summer is an awesome time of year. It’s full of family get-togethers, trips to the pool and vacations. With all that awesomeness, though, sometimes learning falls by the wayside. Research has shown that some children experience summer learning loss, also known as “summer slide” because their minds aren’t as engaged as they are during the school year. You can help to keep your child’s brain active and prevent summer slide with these five fun learning activities:

1. Read, read, read. Read to your child or encourage him to read for twenty minutes every day. Taking a trip to the library on hot, humid or rainy days can be fun, too. Also, listening to audio books is great during car trips.

2. Learn a new word every week. Make this a game by seeing who can use the new word the most times throughout the week. You can even make a scoreboard and stick it on the fridge. Encourage your child to look through a picture dictionary to pick out new words. 3. Get cooking. Cooking with your child is a fun way to teach your child math and reading skills as well as how to follow instructions. Look through a cookbook with your little one, and ask him what he would like to make.

4. Hit the road. Take a field trip to a museum, a zoo or an aquarium. Before you go, read a book with your child about the sights at your destination. When you return, you and your child can write a journal entry about your adventures. 5. Go outside. Embrace the nice weather and go on a hike, nature walk or bike ride. Pack a magnifying glass and/or binoculars, and take breaks along the way to take a closer look at things. You and your little one can even take notes on interesting objects or animals and look up more information about them online or in an encyclopedia when you get home.


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Firework Painting

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Children can create their own festive firework display with this fun craft project, perfect for the 4th of July!

What you need:

* Bright colored water-based paint

* Dark construction paper (blue or black to simulate the night sky)

* Drinking straws

* Newspaper (or a drop cloth)

* Paintbrush or dropper

* Small bowls (for mixing the paint and water)

* Water

Ready, Set, Blow!

* Protect your work surface with newspaper or a drop cloth.

* Give each child a piece of construction paper.

* Add a few drops of paint and a few drops of water to each bowl and mix to thin out the paint.

* Using a paintbrush or dropper, place a drop of the paint mixture on the paper.

* Holding a straw a few inches above the paper, each child should blow through the straw to move the paint around to create a “firework.”

* Repeat around to fill the paper with different colors until it resembles a sky full of fireworks!


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A Day at the “Beach”

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When it’s just too hot (or rainy) to go outdoors, consider creating your own indoor oasis for a day filled with summer fun!

Start by creating a space in your living room or play room that can be used as the “beach.” Have your child wear their best beach outfit, complete with flip flops and sunglasses, and lay beach towels on the floor. If you have beach balls or other beach-related decorations, bring them out to add to the fun.

During their day at the “beach,” encourage your child to use their imagination to pretend they’re swimming, surfing in the waves, or the lifeguard watching over all the swimmers. Read your child’s favorite beach-related books together, eat lunch picnic-style on your beach towels, play a game of beach ball catch and even take a nap on the “beach.”


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Try these water activities with your children and keep them ‘cool’ in the hot summer weather!

Water Works

This game is played like Musical Chairs. Play music while children run, skip and jump through a water sprinkler. After a short amount of time, stop the music. The child in the sprinkler when the music stops is in charge of controlling the music in the next round!

Frozen Toes

Fill a wading pool with cool water and ice cubes. Give each child a bucket. Ask the children to transfer as many ice cubes as they can from the pool to their bucket – using their feet! The child with the most ice cubes is the winner!

*Safety First: A parent or guardian should always be present when children are engaged in water play. Parents should use their discretion regarding age-appropriate games for their children.

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10 Tips for Traveling with Your Preschooler

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1. Take breaks. If you’re driving, try to make regular rest stops so your child can get some exercise, get some exercise, use the bathroom or have a snack.

2. Stock up. Bring a stash of toys, snacks, coloring books, crayons and other goodies to keep your little one from getting bored or hungry during the trip.

3. Tire ’em out. Children often travel better when they’re tuckered out and sleepy. If you’re flying, have your child push a small suitcase around the waiting area or ride the escalators with you. If you’re driving, try to leave the house before dawn so you can scoop up your drowsy child, put her in the car seat and hit the road.

4. Surprise them with treats. While good behavior doesn’t automatically warrant a reward, a piece of candy or a wrapped toy can certainly encourage your child to keep up particularly pleasant behavior.

5. Engage them. When children are actively involved, they are less likely to misbehave. Talk to your child about the trip and ask her what she’s looking forward to seeing or doing. You can also give her a disposable camera and ask her to document the trip. This will encourage her to observe her surroundings and focus on her interests.

6. Take a bus, a subway, a train or a boat. Children love the novelty of public transportation, so if it’s available at your destination, use it. Large cities, such as New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C., usually have public transportation systems that are fairly inexpensive and easy to use.

7. Keep tabs on your children electronically. You can use an electronic child locator to make sure you can find your child if you’re separated. Most locators cost around $30 online and include a transmitter your child wears and a locator unit you carry. If you get separated, you can press a button on the locator, and the transmitter will make a sound that you can follow to find your child.

8. Check the weather. Make sure you pack for any weather conditions you might encounter. You don’t want your child to be too hot or too cold. Extra clothing may make your luggage bulkier, but you’ll be glad you’re prepared if the weather changes.

9. Pass the time. Travel delays are almost inevitable, but games can make the wait more fun. Whether you’re playing 20 Questions, a travel version of a popular board game or a quick game of Go Fish, you and your child will appreciate the distraction.

10. Sanitize. Traveling means coming into contact with more germs than usual, especially if you’re flying to your destination. Be sure to pack plenty of antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to disinfect your little ones’ hands, especially if they have touched the seat-back pockets of airplanes, which can be full of harmful bacteria.



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Five Benefits of Teaching Children to Garden

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Break out the seeds and bulbs because gardening season has arrived! Here are five benefits of showing your children how to garden.

1. Gets children outside and active. Digging, planting and watering on a sunny afternoon are terrific ways to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful weather.

2. Children learn about science and the environment. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your child some basics of biology, such as how the sun helps plants to grow, how plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis and how vegetation contributes to a healthy environment.

3. Teaches children how vegetables and fruits grow. Growing fruits and vegetables gives your child a look into small-scale farming and may encourage an appreciation for the process that brings produce to grocery stores.

4. Encourages healthy eating. Planting a vegetable garden can lead to healthier meal times because children are more likely to try vegetables they have grown and veggies usually taste better when they are fresh from the garden.

5. Inspires responsibility and a strong work ethic. Maintaining a garden can help children understand what the rewards of hard work are and how taking care of something requires diligence and persistence.



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Making Time for Small Talk

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Just Talk The most important thing you can do to encourage language and communication is talk to your child. From infant, to toddler, to preschooler and on up through the years, share what you are doing, seeing and feeling. Small talk is a great way to maximize language growth. Always use tone and emphasis, and be sure to respond to your child’s attempts at sounds, words, sentences and conversation.

In Your Daily Travels Whether at the market, bank or park, talk about what you see and hear along your way. Be descriptive. Chat about characteristics in terms of color, shape, size, what things do or sound like, how they taste, how they feel, how they smell. You’ll be surprised at what your children will absorb—and will share with you some day!

Keep It Simple Discuss your child’s environment and focus on what is important to them. Every conversation counts. Your daily routine can be full of new words, experiences and feelings for your child. While reading a book together, running errands, making dinner or visiting a relative, ask your child many questions: What are you doing? How does that feel? Why/how does that happen? What happens next?

The Ultimate Reward As they develop, your child will gain valuable conversation, language and social skills. As a result, the bonds and connections you will form with your child, through even the simplest of coos or the most complex of conversations, are absolutely priceless!


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Creating Confidence in Children

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Instilling confidence in young children helps them develop their social skills and a sense of self-worth. When we feel good about ourselves it shows; situations seem easier to handle and we communicate in a more upbeat and positive manner. That positivity can spread to others. Smiles are contagious!

Children need to feel validated and loved. Their parents’ positive reinforcement and encouragement helps them gain confidence, and once they are in school, educators and peers also influence their self-worth. How children feel affects how children act.

Model Confidence

Our children are in tune with our actions, so what we feel and perceive can influence our children. A positive self-image provides a strong example to children and helps them feel good about the world. Since children can mirror our behavior, we need to lead by example and model confidence. Bad days happen, and sometimes we feel overwhelmed or down for no reason. When we feel unhappy, it is a good idea to remind children that challenges are a part of life, and we feel happy and fulfilled on most days. If we aren’t happy, we owe it to ourselves and our children to seek out ways to feel fulfilled and joyful, which may include reading, meditating, exercising or listening to music.

Instill a Positive Self-Image

Parents influence their children’s sense of self-worth. Our children should like who they are and feel comfortable in their own skins. Children should feel as though their voices will be heard and as though they can make a difference in the world. We help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth by acknowledging their strengths and the qualities that make them unique. Everyone seeks praise and responds positively to compliments. Children develop a positive self-image when their parents acknowledge their strengths, trust in their abilities and see mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth.

Know Your Child’s Friends and Their Parents

The people around us can affect how we act. Our values may differ from other parents’ and children’s values. Part of our job as parents is to get to know our children’s friends and their parents, and observe any behavioral changes in our children, positive or negative. We can’t always choose who our children befriend, but we can encourage them to play with children who will make them happy. Make time to talk to other parents at your school’s drop-off or pick-up times. Talk to your

children about their play dates, and pay attention to their attitudes afterward. Are they smiling and excited about the fun they had, or are they withdrawn?

Express, Don’t Suppress, Feelings

Children need to be able to express how they feel, but also able to control their tempers. Suppressing feelings does not help children deal with the issue and keeps them from learning how to communicate effectively with others. Finding the right balance is difficult, but if we model healthy ways to talk about our feelings, children will learn how to express how they feel in a mature, controlled and age-appropriate manner.

Build Confidence with The Goddard School

At The Goddard School, our talented teachers collaborate with parents to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners. We are committed to teaching children about compassion, cooperation and the significance of giving back to their community. We pride ourselves in collaborating with the best educational and child development organizations to provide children with the skills they need for long-term success in school and life.


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Making More Time for Your Family

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Time, or the lack of it, drives many of us to live at a frantic pace. There is an enormous cost to being in a chaotic rush each day. Renew your commitment to begin family traditions which make room for you to experience the true joy of family life.

* Practice making choices by limiting after school/work activities.

* Use a family-oriented calendar system to track each family members schedule and important reference information.

* Turn off the TV to allow more time for reading, talking, playing and learning.

* Enjoy food and meals together by making dinner “an oasis in time,” without interruption.

* Make a weekly meal mandatory for everyone in the family to share.

* Claim a tree or outdoor area as a spot to visit regularly to read together.

* Cook double the quantity needed to save or freeze half for another night.

* Participate in outdoor activities as a family including picking apples, hiking or riding bikes.

* Get enough sleep to help you feel rested and calm.

* Specify a night to spend at home to eat pizza, play games and talk.

“Parents fight a daily battle as they try not only to meet all their responsibilities for work, caregiving, and housework, but also to hold on to a few crumbs of time they call their own,” says Kerry Daly, professor at the University of Guelph, in his paper “It Keeps Getting Faster: Changing Patters of Time in Families.” Time is your family’s most precious non-renewable resource. Make the most of this component that magically turns a collection of individuals into a stronger, more robust group of people.



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What Our Children Teach Us

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Our children come to us with a fresh look at life, full of uniqueness, purity and innocence. Each and every day, our children take joy in learning from us—not just the big life lessons, but the nuances, too. As grown-ups, we often rush through life, caught up in day to day tasks. In a blink, babies become preschoolers, and before we know it we’ll be cheering for them at their high school graduation.

Consider what our children can teach us, or remind us of, if we only let them. Our children can remind us what love is—true, unconditional love. They can remind us what it means to really apologize, to not just say “I’m sorry,” but to mean it. They can remind us what pure, raw emotion is—happiness, in its most genuine form, and sadness, too. They can remind us to look for joy in the smallest places. They can remind us to laugh and to laugh often—it lowers stress and it’s good for the soul.

What does your child teach you?


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In The News: Pittsburgh Area Goddard Schools Named Market of Excellence


Mark & Jennifer Rebstock
School Owners
The Goddard School

Pittsburgh Area Goddard Schools Named Market of Excellence

Wexford, PA (Grassroots Newswire) November 27, 2012 – Pittsburgh area Goddard School owners joined more than 400 other Goddard School franchisees at the 2012 Goddard School National Franchisee Convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss the latest innovations and advancements for providing the highest quality, play-based educational childcare programs in a technology-driven age.

A highlight of the gathering was the award ceremony, where all Pittsburgh area Goddard Schools were recognized as the Market of Excellence. This award is presented annually and acknowledges a market that has demonstrated the best collaborative effort in representing The Goddard School’s in their community.

Honorees and additional recognition include:  

Mark & Jennifer Rebstock, owners of The Goddard School located at 3000 Brooktree Road in Wexford, PA, for their Circle of Excellence, 5 years in business and several other business awards;

Lori & Bob Santo, owners of The Goddard School located at 825 East McMurray Road in Venetia (Peters Twp), PA, for their Circle of Excellence, 5 years in business and several other business awards; and

Dina & Matt Speranza owners of The Goddard School located at 8065 Rowan Road in Cranberry Township, for Circle of Excellence President’s Club and several other business awards.

“We are proud to recognize Mark, Jennifer, Lori, Bob, Dina and Matt at this year’s Goddard School National Franchisee Convention. These school owners truly represent the Goddard School philosophy—learning through play. For the past 25 years, The Goddard School has focused on nurturing children into joyful learners. In Pittsburgh, these folks ensure this happens every day in The Goddard School. We have raised the bar even higher for the next 25 years,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School.

Inspired by The Goddard School philosophy of learning through play for its children and families, the convention blended education and fun to motivate inspire and energize franchisees.

During the four-day meeting, GSI, franchisor of The Goddard School unveiled new technological tools to help enhance ongoing collaboration with parents.

One new tool, Goddard Family Connect, is a web-based portal that will allow parents to engage in real time with the school and their child’s teachers.

In addition to the launch of new technology, GSI introduced an evolved brand, including a new logo, which will be rolled out to local schools  in 2013 for the brand’s 25th anniversary. Convention attendees also participated in a variety of workshops led by the GSI team, fellow franchisees and vendors on topics ranging from technology and curriculum to enrollment, human resources and operations.

To learn more about The Goddard School, visit www.goddardschool.com/pittsburgh or contact:

Mark & Jennifer Rebstock in Wexford at 724-935-1100;

Lori & Bob Santo in Venetia (Peters Twp) at 724-941-6464; or

Dina & Matt Speranza in Cranberry Township at 724-778-9999.

The Pittsburgh area will welcome a new Goddard School at 800 Commerce Avenue in Moon Township in 2013. For more details, call 412-262-1821.

The Goddard School®: Celebrating 25 Years of Learning through Play.
Learning for fun. Learning for life. The Goddard School uses the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children from six weeks to six years old have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life. Talented teachers collaborate with parents to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners. The Goddard School’s AdvancED and Middle States-accredited F.L.EX.™ Learning Program reaches more than 45,000 students in 390+ Goddard Schools in 35 states. The Goddard School’s comprehensive play-based curriculum, developed with early childhood education experts, provides the best childhood preparation for social and academic success. To learn more about The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

In The News: Preventing Summer Learning Losses: The Goddard School® located in Wexford stresses the importance of maintaining daily structure and learning during "carefree" summer months



Jennifer & Mark Rebstock
The Goddard School® located in Wexford

Preventing Summer Learning Losses
The Goddard School® located in Wexford stresses the importance of maintaining daily structure and learning during “carefree” summer months

Wexford, Pennsylvania (Grassroots Newswire) July 1, 2011 — As the school year comes to a close, it is only natural for kids to look forward to the leisurely nature of the summer season. The arrival of beach trips, pool parties and sleepovers, however, doesn’t mean that children should depart completely from their daily routine. Keeping particular elements of a child’s day consistent throughout the summer months keeps the brain focused and helps prevent learning losses during the summer. In addition, this can potentially ease the anxiety that often accompanies transitioning into a new classroom or school come fall.

According to research conducted by the National Center for Summer Learning, which is based at the Johns Hopkins School of Education in Baltimore, Maryland, summer learning loss accounts for about two-thirds of the difference in the likelihood of a student pursuing a college preparatory path in high school. As these findings indicate, keeping children’s brains challenged throughout the summer is crucial, since the lack of learning that occurs during these months has both short-term and long-term consequences.

“Routine provides structure, which is often lacking during the summer months when children all too quickly become detached from the lessons they learned throughout the school year,” said Mark Rebstock, owner of The Goddard School located in Wexford. “Maintaining a schedule throughout the summer supports an environment that is less of a contrast to the classroom and provides a healthy balance between building skills, play and rest.”

According to Rebstock, families can incorporate the following habits into their child’s day to encourage and maintain a routine throughout the summer season:

  • Early to bed, early to rise: To the best extent possible, children should adhere to a regular bedtime each night and wake up at the same time each day. This will not only ensure proper rest but will establish a sense of discipline as well.
  • Clean up and get dressed: Upon waking up, it is important that children brush their teeth, get dressed and perform any other hygienic tasks that they normally would before a school day. Allowing kids to stay in pajamas or dirty clothes longer than necessary can result in lazy behavior.
  • Make eating an event: Keeping a child on a consistent meal schedule is critical to maintaining a sharp body and mind. Establish specific times for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sit with children at the table to encourage conversation while eating.
  • Take a rest: If a child partakes in a scheduled nap time while at school, then he or she should be allotted time at home for regular rest as well. Make this time consistent, perhaps after lunch, and have the child rest in the same place everyday.
  • Perform daily chores: Asking a child to help around the house is an ideal way to get them involved in a daily routine. A morning chore and an afternoon chore can convey a sense of responsibility and supply a sense of rhythm to the day.

“In addition to providing consistency, routines can present children with security and comfort as they adjust to the changes that come along with their new summer schedules,” said Rebstock. “The purpose is not to create rigidity but to provide a flexible structure that establishes a sense of purpose kids need to grow and mature.”

The Goddard School located in Wexford offers a year-round program for children from six weeks to six-years-old. Children are encouraged to develop at their own pace in a warm environment supported by a team of dedicated teachers. The Goddard School FLEX™ Learning Program is based on a unique learning continuum that encompasses developmental guidelines, formative assessments and child-focused lesson plans that are delivered in a creative and fun environment with a child-centered approach to meet each child’s individual needs.

For more information on why The Goddard School located in Wexford is the place for fun and learning, please contact Mark Rebstock at 724-935-1100.

About Goddard Systems, Inc. www.goddardschool.com
Recently named #1 Childcare Franchise in the United States, by Entrepreneur magazine, for the tenth consecutive year (January 2011) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the fourth consecutive year (October 2010); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School® network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 370+ franchised schools with more than 45,000 students in 34 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier educational childcare provider in the United States.


    Documents and/or Photos available for this release:


Goddard School students are active over the summer and better prepared for fall.

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to www.enr-corp.com/pressroom and enter Release ID: 301729

In The News: "Let's Go Exploring!" is offered as a Summer Program at The Goddard School® in Wexford





Mark Rebstock
The Goddard School® located in Wexford


“Let’s Go Exploring!” is offered as a Summer Program
at The Goddard School® in Wexford
Fun and Learning on a Flexible Schedule…


Wexford, PA (Grassroots Newswire) May 16, 2011 — The Goddard School located at 3000 Brooktree Rd in Wexford is offering Let’s Go Exploring! for a Summer Program.

“Let’s Go Exploring!” is the summer program for all budding naturalists – children who want to explore the big, wide world! Summer explorers investigate all sorts of phenomena through this program – from the bright lights of the big city to the twinkling stars of outer space. Children will learn about Locomotives, plant a garden, and even do a little camping – they’ll ‘travel’ to the beach, the farm, and the North Pole, too.

 The Let’s Go Exploring! calendar also includes special visitors and cultural events throughout the summer. Visitors provide exciting learning opportunities in a safe environment, and include community helpers; performances by storytellers, musicians, and magicians; as well as outreach programs through local museums.


“Our customized summer program ensures children have fun by incorporating developmentally appropriate activities with the opportunity to socialize and build memories that will last a lifetime,” says Jennifer Rebstock, owner of The Goddard School® located at 3000 Brooktree Rd in Wexford.





The Goddard School offers a program, for children ages six weeks to 9 years, which focuses on building a strong and balanced foundation of emotional, social, cognitive and physical skills for each child.  Goddard provides children with a nurturing environment and a curriculum that encourages learning through play.  Families have the convenience of extended hours from 7A.M. to 6P.M., the flexibility of either half or full-day schedules and Quality Assurance standards that are monitored corporately.


 Parents are encouraged to drop in for a tour or call Jennifer, Mark or one of the Directors directly to arrange a personal appointment at 724-935-1100.


 About Goddard Systems, Inc. www.goddardschool.com


 Recently named #1 Childcare Franchise in the United States, by Entrepreneur magazine, for the tenth consecutive year (January 2011) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the fourth consecutive year (October 2010); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School® network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 370+ franchised schools with more than 45,000 students in 34 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier educational childcare provider in the United States.
































In The News: Media Alert



Mark Rebstock
The Goddard School

Media Alert

Parents Become the Preschoolers During
“A Day in the Life of a Preschooler”


WHAT: The Goddard School’s A Day in the Life of a Preschooler event
It’s Back to School time and The Goddard School® is proud to announce A Day in the Life of a Preschooler. From circle time to snack time, to sing-a-longs and creative art projects, parents will find out what it’s like to be a preschooler. During a fun-filled evening on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 6pm-7:30pm, parents will get to know their classmates, participate in a number of group activities from Spanish to Yoga, and even wind down for nap time. By participating in the event, parents can discover how preschool can offer a fun-filled day with a lot of opportunities or learning.
WHO:  The Goddard School located in Wexford, PA

WHEN: Thursday, Oct 8, 2009 at 6pm-7:30pm:  Parents have circle time and get to know their classmates. Parents will then participate in a variety of activities such as Spanish, singing songs, dressing up for Dramatic Play, coloring, nap time, Yoga and more.  
WHERE: The Goddard School, located at 3000 Brooktree Rd. Wexford PA 15090
Goddard Systems, Inc. is the leading child care company in the U.S., with more than 330 schools nationwide. To learn more about The Goddard School located in Wexford, PA, families are encouraged to call 724-935-1100 or visit www.goddardschools.com.

About Goddard Systems, Inc. www.goddardschool.com

Recently named #1 Childcare Franchise in the United States, by Entrepreneur magazine, for the eighth consecutive year (January 2009) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the second consecutive year (October 2008); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 330+ franchised schools with more than 40,000 students in 37 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier childcare provider in the United States.