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The Goddard School Helps Build Confidence to Defeat Bullying

Preschool chain invites families to discover how playful learning nurtures skills to help prevent bullying

Throughout 2010, bullying has been on the rise at all levels of education. In an effort to combat this growing problem, the nation’s leading preschool franchise, The Goddard School, is reaching out with a renewed vigor to help families discover the benefits of playful learning at an early age and how it can prevent bullying. With their proprietary FLEX™ Learning Program, designed to build children’s self- confidence through play, The Goddard School hopes to break the cycle of bullying and halt a national trend.

According to Dr. Kyle Pruett, a child psychiatrist, published author, and advisor to The Goddard School, the success and enjoyment that preschool children experience through playful learning can help develop self-confidence. Confidence, along with strong parenting and learning to interact in a social group, is an important factor in helping children stand up to bullies.

“Confidence comes from competence, and there’s no better way for a child to discover competence than through play-based learning,” said Pruett. “When children learn through play, they become independent thinkers capable of solving problems themselves instead of seeking help from parents or teachers. That’s a huge self-confidence booster.”

Playful learning has been at the heart of The Goddard School’s core curriculum from the beginning. This approach to learning, which helps introduce children to new skills in a playful and engaging way, is supported by a growing body of research from Play for Tomorrow, the consortium behind the respected playful learning movement.

“We make learning enjoyable and we build in lots of opportunity for each child to experience the satisfaction of success,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School. “A key benefit of this approach to learning is its emphasis on building self-esteem and confidence as children try, and succeed at, new challenges. A confident child is much less likely to develop into a bully or to accept bullying from another child.”

To jumpstart this initiative, The Goddard School will be hosting the Goddard Community Games event February 5 in communities across the nation. The focus will be on fun and enrichment, but also teach children about playing well with others and accepting each other’s differences. The event will also give families across the nation an opportunity to join with their children in playful learning programs selected from The Goddard School’s enrichment curriculum, including Sign Language, Yoga, Nutrition and “Rock ‘n’ Tot” pre-dance and creative movement.

“In our preschools, playful learning activities not only equip children with specific skills and knowledge, but also teach them about friendship, compassion, cooperation and kindness,” said Sue Adair, Director of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “In fact, as a part of this special day of fun and learning, the children will be involved in a ‘Good Deed’ – an outreach program that will benefit the local community. As we foster a sense of accomplishment and purpose in each child, we build a foundation of self-confidence that we believe is the best defense against bullying.”

To learn more about bully prevention in preschool and beyond or The Goddard School, visit http://www.goddardschool.com/games.