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Archive for 2017

Bento Box Mania!

What is a bento box?

Bento box lunches have been increasing in popularity among families with preschoolers and school-age children. Google the term “bento box lunch” and you will find a wealth of resources, including blogs, Pinterest pages and online retailers selling basic and whimsical options. If a parent is artistic, the child’s lunch can become a work of art.

Why does it work well for school lunches?

Bento boxes work well for school lunches and snacks because they protect food in a sealed container and keep food groups separate. If you have a picky eater who does not like foods touching, a bento box may keep your child happy. Parents can have fun creating different lunchtime masterpieces. Bento boxes are also economical because they are reusable and help keep plastic snack and sandwich bags out of landfills.

What are the nutritional benefits of bento boxes?

Bento boxes are appealing because they provide a creative way to add a variety of foods to a child’s lunch while keeping wet foods separate from dry foods. By introducing different, healthy foods early in your child’s life, he or she may develop a preference for those foods as well as a more diverse palate. You can also turn the preparation of the bento box into a learning activity by asking your child what each food is, where it comes from, how it’s made and so on. Engaging your child in the experience may help to build and reinforce a child’s love of diverse, nutritious foods while fostering a love of learning.

What can I put in my child’s bento box?

The options are endless, but here are some ideas:

  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs;
  • A mini-bagel sandwich with almond butter, jelly or another spread;
  • Sliced strawberries, blueberries and kiwis;
  • Cheese cubes;
  • Pretzels;
  • Sliced grapes;
  • A muffin;
  • Mini-pita sandwiches filled with cheese and pepperoni;
  • Sliced pineapple;
  • Celery and carrot sticks;
  • Cucumber slices;
  • A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll;
  • Veggie chips;
  • Rice molds;
  • Chickpeas and black beans;
  • Raisins and chocolate chips;
  • Sandwich rounds with ham, cheese and avocado.

Enjoy making bento box lunches!

2017 Upcycling Challenge!

Congratulations to our 2017 Upcycling Challenge winner – Ashland, VA! The School won with 1,603 votes for their mural of The Goddard School logo using packing peanuts and recycled water bottles.

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White Marsh, MD came in second with 1,551 votes for their mural made of recycled materials.

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Village of Shiloh, IL came in third with 574 votes for their rain barrel and sensory garden. Way to go!

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Thank you to our Goddard School community for participating, voting and sharing!

Paper Flower Craft

Attention parents! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and the most special gifts are those made by the hands of your tiny tots. Here’s a craft idea to help your child create a special keepsake for mom.

What you need:

  • Photo of your child
  • Construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners or straws
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

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Instructions:

Cut the photo of your little one into a circle.

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Encourage your child to choose a color (or two) of construction paper and cut out eight ovals for petals. Cutting should be done by an adult.

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Help your child glue or tape the petals into a flower.

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Glue or tape your child’s photo in the center of the flower.

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Use a straw or pipe cleaner for the stem. (Tip: Twisting two pipe cleaners together makes a stronger stem.)

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For a more advanced activity, help your child write a poem for Mom and attach it to the flower. Have fun!

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

We are excited to announce that Logan is our 2017 $10,000 Anthony A. Martino Scholarship winner! Logan is a 2004 Pre-K graduate from The Goddard School. We wish Logan the best of luck in his future academic adventures!

We would also like to congratulate our Scholarship runners up, Alexia and Ryan, for their outstanding academic achievements, social contributions, enthusiasm and motivation. We wish you both continued success!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!

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Five Ways to Discourage Children from Lying

Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers five ways to discourage children from lying.

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  1. Keep your cool when your child lies. Try to say ‘Oh,’ or ‘Okay,’ to give yourself some time to think about what to say next. Something like ‘I wonder what happened to the flowers’ works better than ‘Whoever did this had better tell the truth (‘or else!’ is implied).’ This strategy makes it easier for children to be truthful and improves your chances of hearing the truth later as they will feel less intimidated.
  2. Calmly, try to help your child understand why he lied and what he can do next time to avoid lying.
  3. Explain to your child that it’s okay to make a mistake and that she doesn’t have to lie about it. Also remember to praise your child for admitting that she made a mistake. Lying lessens when it’s safe to tell the truth.
  4. When you are on the fence about whether or not to believe your preschooler, err on the side of believing that your child is telling the truth. Or his version of it. After all, imagination is a powerful and creative force that might cause a child to tell a lie that he thinks is true. For example, a child might claim that there is a monster in the closet when that obviously isn’t true.
  5. Be aware that you are under constant scrutiny and that the ‘innocent’ white lie that you can’t make a donation to a charitable organization because you don’t have any cash, for instance, will be noticed by your child. Set a good example and remember that the truth starts at home.

The Goddard School® Honors Top Early Childhood Educators for the Eleventh Annual Teacher of the Year Awards

Five Exceptional Educators Acknowledged during National Teacher Appreciation Week

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, the nation’s premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children six weeks to six years old, announces today that five leading educators from across the nation have been chosen as recipients of the eleventh annual Teacher of the Year award. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place from May 1 to May 5, these extraordinary educators will be presented with a plaque commemorating their passion for teaching, dedication to learning and love for the children, families and local communities. The Goddard School’s Teacher of the Year award honors educators in its preschool system who have developed compelling programs and projects that benefit their classrooms, Schools or communities.

“This year’s award recipients raised the bar with notable, long-term projects that have inspired us, Goddard School students and Goddard School families,” says Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at GSI. “These initiatives, which address healthy friendships and healthy bodies and teach children about journalism and elections, highlight the educators’ unique, nurturing approaches that help develop children into joyful, confident learners.”

The projects from the selected Goddard School educators include Taste It Tuesday, an activity that teaches students the value of a healthy, well-rounded diet; Friendship Curriculum, a program designed to foster emotional development and promote social awareness among peers; Election, a campaign that introduces the election process and governmental functions; and Journalism, a program that lets students explore a variety of career paths while nurturing their curiosity.

GSI honors the following teachers:

Laura Flanagan – Exton, PA

Laura Flanagan, a pre-k teacher at The Goddard School located in Exton, PA, created Taste It Tuesday after noticing that her students were curious about the colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables she brought for lunch. She created the activity hoping that it would encourage and help her students to try unfamiliar healthy foods. During morning circle time, Laura introduced the food they were going to sample and related the food to the letter of the alphabet they were currently studying. During the lesson and before sampling the food, the students made observations and predictions about the food’s texture and taste. While the students were sampling the food, Laura discussed where the food was grown and why it is a healthy choice. She also made cultural connections where applicable. At the end of the lesson, all the students added their names to the Taste It Tuesday graph, which showed who liked or did not like the food they tasted. The project has been such a success that multiple classrooms in the School now hold Taste It Tuesday, and teachers in different classrooms collaborate on it.

Everith Radcliffe and Ashlee Summer – Simpsonville, SC

Everith Radcliffe and Ashlee Summer, junior kindergarten teachers at The Goddard School located in Simpsonville, SC, created the Friendship Curriculum. The teachers developed an initialism, FRES-CLAK, to highlight the necessary components of a healthy friendship: friendship, respect, empathy, sharing – compassion, love, acceptance and kindness. The goal was to help students focus on learning, having fun and building caring relationships while receiving opportunities to develop and practice important social-emotional skills, such as controlling their own feelings, behaving appropriately and getting along with their peers. The teachers focused on helping young children and their families understand the importance of social and emotional well-being and development. The tools included a kindness chain, an I Am Feeling mood dial, the “Good Friend” poem, a bucket fillers pledge and a 100 Days of Kindness chart.

Kerry Allaire – Wayne, PA

Kerry Allaire, a kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Wayne, PA, implemented Election to give her students a deeper understanding of how the election process works. Each November, Kerry introduces the election process to the students and chooses storybook characters as candidates. This year’s candidates were Clifford the Big Red Dog, Madeline and Arthur. Students prepared for Election Day by reading books to learn about each candidate’s platform and by creating buttons and campaign posters. They also cast their votes. Each student had a job to perform. First, students informed the teachers about the candidates and their platforms. Next, students had the teachers sign in before voting, and then the students gave the teachers a ballot to place in the ballot box. The teachers who voted received an ‘I Voted’ button, and once the polls were closed, the votes were tallied to determine the winner. Clifford the Big Red Dog was this year’s winner! The election project doesn’t end in November; an inauguration ceremony was held for Clifford, and students discussed the activities of the day.

Megan Brady – Fanwood, NJ

Megan Brady, a kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Fanwood, NJ, created a program called Journalism to help her students investigate a variety of careers. Each month, Megan invited two visitors to the classroom, each with a career related to a specific theme. The children met a flight attendant, a lawyer, an editor, a photographer, an animal protection provider, a publisher and a nutritionist. Before each visit, the children prepared questions for the guest interview, and during each visit, the responses were logged. These tasks mirror the responsibilities of journalists. The students learned about open-ended and close-ended questions and about occupations in the journalism field. The students often mimicked these interesting roles. The culmination of the project is a video montage of the broadcasts the children created that will be shown on graduation day. The broadcast will feature the children as news anchors, and they will discuss all the relevant Goddard news from the year.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit http://www.goddardschool.com/educators/teachers.

 

THE GODDARD SCHOOL CELEBRATES ITS SEVENTH ANNUAL NATIONWIDE ROOT FOR EARTH CAMPAIGN

Its Signature Lights Out! Initiative Will Save More Than 3.4 Million Watts of Energy

The Goddard School®, the nation’s premier preschool franchise system focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, announces the seventh annual Root for Earth campaign. More than 460 Goddard Schools participate in the weeklong Root for Earth celebration, which encourages families, children and communities to celebrate our planet and learn the importance of environmentally sustainable practices.

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From April 17 through April 21, the Root for Earth campaign will engage preschoolers at The Goddard School in a variety of eco-friendly hands-on projects, such as building robots from recyclable materials, planting gardens, hosting fashion shows of outfits made from reused materials and participating in other activities inspired by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) that foster creativity and imagination. Additionally, each School will participate in an Upcycling Challenge, where the children turn discarded materials into new creations. Their upcycled projects will be shared on The Goddard School’s national Facebook page, where members of the public can vote for their favorite project from Monday, May 8, to Friday, May 12. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 15.

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On Friday, April 21, the day before Earth Day, all 462 Goddard School preschools will participate in Root for Earth’s signature Lights Out! initiative. The preschools will turn off all non-essential lighting for an hour beginning at 10 AM local time, which could save more than 3.4 million watts of energy.

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The Goddard School’s yearly Root for Earth campaign cultivates environmental stewardship in children and provides them with the tools needed to become advocates for our planet,” said Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc., the franchisor of The Goddard School. “The activities not only instill a sense of environmental responsibility in the students, but also help to build an understanding of how our planet works and how to care for it properly.”

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The Goddard School preschool’s play-based curriculum includes environmentally focused lessons that encourage children to explore the world around them, apply their knowledge at home and make sustainable choices that will benefit the ecosystem.

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

Honey & Cranberry Sandwich!

Are you looking for an easy snack or breakfast option? Check out these delicious honey & cranberry sandwiches! Click here for the video!

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Ingredients:

  • Whole grain bagel or bread
  • Seed- or nut-based butter
  • Dried cranberries
  • Honey

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Spread seed- or nut-based butter on one half of a mini whole grain bagel or slice of bread.

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Then, drizzle on some local honey.

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Top it off with a sprinkle of dried cranberries.

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Serve the sandwich with a glass of almond milk or orange juice. For added flavor and crunch, you can place a few slivers of apple on top. Makes a great snack or easy breakfast!

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Enjoy!

Party with Poems for the Month of April!

Celebrate national poetry month by bringing the neighborhood together! Use chalk to help your child write down one of her favorite poems on the sidewalk. Leave extra chalk and include a note encouraging neighboring families to add their favorites, too. Pretty soon, the sidewalks will be filled with colorful poems from all over the community. This can be a great way to meet and work with neighboring families! (You can also do this at a local park, but be sure to acquire any necessary permissions first!)

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Take a trip to the local bookstore or library with your child and pick out an easy-to-read poetry book. Before bed each night, choose one of the poems to read with your little one. Continue this for the month of April. Poetry before bed will be a fun tradition for you and your child to enjoy!

Help your child select a favorite poem at the beginning of April. Repeat it together each day to help him memorize the poem. At the end of the month, hold a family recital where family members recite their favorite poems. Create lots of applause so your child feels comfortable. When he is ready, ask him to recite the poem from memory, impressing everyone who attends!

What are some of your family’s favorite poems to read together?

Good Sportsmanship Is a Learned Skill

Being a part of a team, whether it is a sports team or a debate team, can cause the competitive side of children to surface. There is value in talking to your child about being a good sport both in winning and in losing. Emphasize the old saying, “there is no I in team.” Explain to your child that teams work together, win together and sometimes lose together.

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Learning to display good sportsmanship both when winning and when losing is a valuable life lesson. Our natural reaction is to be excited about winning, which sometimes can result in bragging. The act of being happy without bragging to others is an important skill. Our natural reaction to losing is to be upset, and this may cause us to place the blame on a someone. The skill is remembering that it is okay to be upset without blaming yourself, your teammates or members of the opposing team. As parents, we see our children as MVPs (and of course they are), but we should support our children and teach them to be happy for the winning team and be humble when their team wins. A great strategy is to encourage your child to move forward and start preparing for future games.

 

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When your children sign up to be on a team, remind them that winning is not the most important goal. It is more important for them to do their best and to work with the other team members to create a fun environment for all the children, their parents and the community.