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Archive for January, 2012

The Goddard School Builds Confidence to Prevent Bullying

The Goddard Schools share the power of playful learning with community

Throughout 2011, bullying has been on the rise at all levels of education. In an effort to combat this growing problem, the nation’s leading preschool, The Goddard School®, is reaching out with a renewed vigor to help families discover the benefits of playful learning in early childhood education and how it can help 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.

Blocks - Boys Playing

According to Dr. Kyle Pruett, child psychiatrist, published author and advisor to The Goddard School, the success and enjoyment that preschool children experience through playful learning contributes to the development of self-confidence. Confidence, along with strong parenting and learning to interact in a social group, are important factors in helping children manage bullying.

“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.”

“The children in our schools are the leaders of tomorrow,” added Sue Adair, Director of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc., parent company of The Goddard School. “Our teachers nurture each child’s self-confidence and foster their lifelong love of learning by incorporating teacher-planned and child-directed learning activities into each day. When children enjoy learning, they gain not only knowledge of the task or concept but a sense of personal accomplishment that prepares them for a successful journey through life.”

“Goddard Schools across the nation are hosting the Goddard Community Games on February 11, and all of the families are invited,” added Adair.  “There will be a variety of activities for children and their parents, and the focus will be on learning about playing well with others and accepting each other’s differences.”

Visit The Goddard School online at www.goddardschool.com/games.

Let it Snow!

Whether your area gets blanketed with snow each winter or you see nary a flake, here’s an activity to help your family celebrate the magic of snow together.

Here are a few tips before you begin:

  • Be prepared for a mess.
  • Cover your work area with newspaper or a drop cloth.
  • Use your kitchen or a tiled area to make cleanup less stressful.
  • Have your child wear a smock or an old t-shirt to protect her clothes.
  • Remember your own childhood and relish the FUN!

Snow Art

  1. Spray shaving cream on a table or placemat.
  2. Let your child finger-paint with the shaving cream.
  3. When your child has completed a design, press a piece of dark construction paper over their shaving cream masterpiece.
  4. The result is a snowy scene!


*Children should have adult supervision throughout all activities.

Deadline Nears: $10K College Scholarship Opportunity for Preschool Graduates

Goddard Schools Nationwide Announces College Scholarship


Goddard Schools across the country are reaching out to all Goddard School alumni. The organization is accepting applications for its fourth annual $10,000 Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship. The application deadline, February 19, 2012, is quickly approaching.

The scholarship is awarded to a Goddard School alumnus each year to use toward his or her education at an accredited college or university.

“The Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship provides financial support to a graduate of The Goddard School who demonstrates an excellent work ethic, commitment to family and community and a love of learning,” says Joe Schumacher, chief executive officer for Goddard Systems, Inc. “We are eager to determine this year’s recipient of this prestigious award.”

The Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship is named in memory of the founder of The Goddard School, an entrepreneur who started several other well-known franchise companies including AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. and MAACO Auto Painting and Bodyworks, Inc. According to Schumacher, Martino was a successful businessperson who worked his way up from humble beginnings to achieve success.

Eligible applicants can access the scholarship application on Goddard’s Web site at www.goddardschool.com under the Communication tab. Students interested in applying should follow the guidelines below:

  • Applicants must be graduates of The Goddard School Pre-Kindergarten and/or Kindergarten program.
  • Applicants must submit a completed application form.
  • Applicants must use the scholarship to attend an accredited college or university.
  • Only high school juniors and seniors are eligible.
  • To complement the Scholarship Application, applicants may submit a video essay between 30 and 120 seconds (e.g., How The Goddard School influenced your career path/education).  Video essays should be mailed to 1016 West Ninth Ave, King of Prussia, PA 19406 ATTN: Scholarship.  (Video content may be used by Goddard Systems, Inc. in advertising and publicity, including broadcast and social media.)
  • Relatives of Goddard Systems, Inc. or The Goddard School employees are ineligible.
  • The scholarship recipient selection will be made without regard to race, age, gender, religion, political beliefs, employment status or any other factor which could constitute unfair or illegal discrimination.
  • Decisions of the Scholarship Committee are final in matters relating to the above practices.
  • Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of funds available and applicant eligibility.

The Goddard School has been at the forefront of early childhood education for nearly 25 years, and the results of a recent assessment are proof of this. (Results from the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment [CPAA], an early childhood assessment, show that Goddard School students consistently outperform the general population of CPAA users by a significant margin and met or exceeded grade level expectations at a higher rate than the general population in every concept assessed on the CPAA.)

To learn more about The Goddard School, or about the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship, families are encouraged to visit www.goddardschool.com/scholarships.gspx.


Chores & Role-Playing

Children, even as young as toddlers, just love to role play. Letting them help out with chores provides valuable life lessons about teamwork, family, responsibility and accountability.

To grown-ups, these are some of the daily tasks that just have to get done. However, to a child, it’s a chance to role-play or imitate grown-ups. Children who participate in family activities at a young age may even feel an added sense of accomplishment, greater self-confidence and greater sense of value within their family.

Here are a few ideas for including your child (while supervised and/or as developmentally appropriate) in daily chores:

  • Matching socks—also great for learning colors, comparing, etc.!
  • Carrying in the mail (add an occasional letter or postcard for your child for extra fun)
  • Setting the dinner table
  • Clearing their own plastic dishes and utensils after mealtime
  • Helping to pack lunches into lunchboxes
  • Dusting
  • Watering the plants
  • Selecting their outfit for the next day
  • Filling a beloved pet’s water bowl
  • Vacuuming

How do your children participate in family chores?

Nutritious and Fun Breakfast: Banana in a Blanket

Perfect for breakfast or shared as a snack, this delicious, hearty little recipe is sure to please!


  • 1 six-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon granola


  1. Lay the tortilla on a plate and spread the entire surface evenly with the cream cheese or sunflower seed butter.
  2. Sprinkle the tablespoon of granola over the cream cheese / sunflower seed butter.
  3. Peel the banana and place on one edge of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla to wrap the banana in the “blanket.”
  4. Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top, slice in half and serve.

Ask the Expert: When Should Parents Start ‘Teaching’ Discipline?

A recent ‘Ask the Expert’ question to The Goddard School Blog reads, ‘Everyone at our house knows that ‘discipline by distraction’ works well for very young children. At what point should we start  actively teaching boundaries and appropriate behavior? Is 20 months too late to start the process? At what age can that kind of gentle discipline start to become effective?’

All children–and parents–are unique, so I have no clue what age would be best for any particular child-parent pair to start a system of discipline. All I can discuss are ranges when developmental agendas are unfolding and try to give you some heads-ups.

Between 18-36 months, so much happens developmentally that it’s easy to lose sight of the objective. The long-term goal here is cultivating self-control in the child, not parental control of the child. Through your words and your own behavior during this period, you are teaching the basics of judgment and control that will work not only when you are present, but hopefully when you are not, as in those teen years.

Before shame and guilt show up, discipline by distraction is your best hope.  Shame and guilt are critical partners in disciplining children and they develop late in the second year for most kids.  Shame arises when a toddler gets an unexpected, negative reaction to something he/she has done from someone he/she loves. He/she feels instantly deflated and may or may not blush, but he/she clearly registers a negative physical reaction to this interaction. This reaction doesn’t exist earlier because the brain has only just now developed the complex connections between words, behavior and emotions.

What you do next will help the child learn over time that his negative behavior violates your important standards for his well-being, and that there are ways to avoid guilt, which is the primary consequence of shame and hurts just as much. Therefore, once that shame reaction starts, it’s worth adding a firm but simple “No, we don’t jump on the coffee table.” The toddler’s increasing memory skills are sometimes  helping him to remember that even when the coffee table leap looks like fun, the grown-ups don’t like that behavior.

Your consistent, firm,  low-key and brief repetition of the same words and actions in response to his dangerous or uncooperative behavior enable your child to begin to feel emotional distress (shame and guilt) when he breaks those rules. His desire to please you is something to rely on, but not to manipulate. After about18 months of this kind of interaction, your child will show the beginning of a sense of right and wrong. Voila! A conscience starts to emerge just in the nick of time (about pre-K).

Our kids aren’t the only ones feeling shame and guilt. How we manage those emotions in ourselves is related to our own personal character and temperament. Periodically reassess the fit between you and your child’s temperamental styles enough to stay in sync so that you don’t feel you are ‘constantly battling.’ Laid-back kids are often confused by feisty caretakers, just as shy parents are flustered by feisty kids. One solution is to do more tag-teaming with the parent or grandparent that seems to be less ‘undone’ by the challenging behavior during this stage. Now you know why there are quotes around ‘teaching’ in the title.  Remember, it DOES get better.

Additional guidance is from Chapter 8 of Dr. Pruett’s Me, Myself and I: How Children Build Their Sense of Self: 18-36 Months, Goddard Press.

The Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour Bus is Back!

Commitment to our community is at the heart of The Goddard School.  To unite our Goddard School community with our online community, we are bringing the Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour to you…with a new twist!  

The Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour acts as a launch to our nationwide Goddard Community Games event (taking place on Saturday, February 11, 2012). Last year, all families were invited to join us on our exciting tour by sharing their favorite family-friendly activities and places to visit in their community (e.g., the best family-friendly restaurant, top no-cost activities and favorite educational landmarks).

This year, there is a new spin to the Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour. We are taking several of our families’ favorite places to visit in their community from 2011 and creating a ‘scavenger hunt’ for 2012! When Facebook community members guess the correct locations that ‘Gus the Bus’ wants to visit, he will receive a bumper sticker before leaving the state.

Help Gus the Bus visit all of our family-approved locations in your community.  Let the Goddard Community Games begin!  Visit us on Facebook today!

Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour Schedule:

  • Pennsylvania – January 7, 2012
  • New York – January 8, 2012
  • New Hampshire – January 9, 2012
  • Massachusetts – January 10, 2012
  • Rhode Island – January 11, 2012
  • Connecticut – January 12, 2012
  • New Jersey – January 13, 2012
  • Delaware – January 14, 2012
  • Maryland – January 15, 2012
  • Virginia – January 16, 2012
  • North Carolina – January 17, 2012
  • South Carolina – January 18, 2012
  • Georgia – January 19, 2012
  • Florida – January 20, 2012
  • Alabama – January 21, 2012
  • Tennessee – January 22, 2012
  • Kentucky – January 23, 2012
  • Ohio – January 24, 2012
  • Michigan – January 25, 2012
  • Indiana – January 26, 2012
  • Illinois – January 27, 2012
  • Missouri – January 28, 2012
  • Wisconsin – January 29, 2012
  • Minnesota – January 30, 2012
  • North Dakota – January 31, 2012
  • Nebraska – February 1, 2012
  • Kansas – February 2, 2012
  • Oklahoma – February 3, 2012
  • Texas – February 4, 2012
  • Arizona – February 5, 2012
  • Colorado – February 6, 2012
  • Washington – February 7, 2012
  • Oregon – February 8, 2012
  • Nevada – February 9, 2012
  • California – February 10, 2012