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Top O’ The Graham!

Here’s a cheery snack to satisfy your little one’s hungry tummy! Click here for the video!



  • Non-fat yogurt (any flavor)
  • Graham crackers
  • Banana slices
  • Dried cranberries


Break a graham cracker in half so you have two squares.


Spread a spoonful of yogurt on one of the graham cracker squares. (Try it out with key lime flavored yogurt for a St. Patrick’s Day treat!)


Top with a banana slice and dried cranberries.


Repeat and enjoy!


Four Ways to Encourage Gratitude

072O2495Teaching children how to be grateful is important. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four tips on how to encourage gratitude.

  1. Regularly express your own thankfulness verbally. Saying things such as “We are very lucky to have grandma nearby” or “I’m thankful to have a son like you in my life” or “Your dad made that so easy for all of us” can help demonstrate the appreciation you have for the people around you.
  2. Express gratitude behaviorally. Take a casserole to a neighbor who has been kind or needs some extra help for whatever reason—even better if the children help you make it. When the hand-me-down toys end their cycle, make a thrift store run with the children in tow.
  3. Make generosity part of your family’s routine. When seasons change, collect clothes from everyone’s closet to donate or take canned goods to the local soup kitchen.
  4. Take the children along on community fundraising activities, runs, walks, etc. Explain to them why this matters to you. Make sure your children meet the organizers and understand the purpose; if it’s personal, it’s remembered.

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

Former Student from The Goddard School located in Eldersburg, MD Awarded with $10,000 to Help with the Rising Costs of College Tuition  

Scholarship Winner 2014

Left Photo: Shelby Janicki with former teacher, Jane Miles, at Shelby’s 2001 Pre-K Goddard School Graduation; Right Photo: Shelby Janicki with Jane Miles and Owner of The Goddard School located in Eldersburg, MD, Alec Yeo.

The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, today announced Shelby Janicki, who attended The Goddard School located in Eldersburg, MD, is the recipient of its 6th annual Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is open to any senior in high school who has graduated from The Goddard School Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten program and is awarded annually to a graduate who has demonstrated the work ethic and perseverance that exemplified Anthony A. Martino, the founder of The Goddard School franchise system.

Shelby’s winning submission detailed how The Goddard School influenced her education and career path. Having already been accepted to Towson University, Shelby will be pursuing an English degree majoring in Secondary Education with a minor in Spanish when she begins college this fall. Fabiana Berenguer Gil and Lindsey Franxman who attended The Goddard School in Owings Mills, MD and Crestview Hills, KY respectively, were selected as finalists for the scholarship.

“With the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, we are thrilled to provide an opportunity for graduates of The Goddard School program to reach their goals in higher education,” said Joseph Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School. “As Shelby embarks on her college career, we are pleased to recognize her and all that she has accomplished since her days as a preschooler. Just as The Goddard School program is dedicated to helping children develop into confident, joyful and fully prepared students, the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship honors this commitment to the children long after they have left our Schools.”

The Goddard Schools have awarded more than $60,000 to alumni through the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship program that provides opportunities for college-bound alumni to financially benefit from their attendance.

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

Talking Differences

What do we do when our preschooler asks about someone’s physical disability? What do we do if any of our children have a physical ailment and someone has questions? How would we want other people to talk to our children about the children’s condition? How would we want the children to react to people who stare or ask them awkward questions? With the help of Goddard School parent, SooAnn Roberts Pisano, who is the mother of a child with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), we are providing some tips for teaching our children appropriate ways to approach someone with a visible disability or ailment.

Society and tradition have taught us that staring and pointing is rude, and typically it is. However, SooAnn Roberts Pisano points out that teaching our children not to stare “does not teach us to see with our eyes in the same way we would naturally. It essentially instructs us to pretend like you have zero interest at all in what we are seeing and try to appear as natural as possible. It instructs us to remain ignorant about what we do not understand.”  We don’t need to allow staring, but we do need to explain to our children that taking an interest in others and seeking to understand their disabilities or differences is important.

How do children with disabilities or conditions that make them appear different than others deal with the stares and questions? While no solution works in all situations, Pisano developed some simple tips from her personal experiences, comments from adults with disabilities and parents of children with special needs. These can help us approach people with disabilities and educate ourselves and our children to embrace and understand differences.

  • Smile. When you catch yourself staring at someone, smile at the person in acknowledgment. Teach your children to smile at people they see and not to fear those who look different.
  • Ask, “May I ask you about ____?” When you notice someone with a disability or a genetic disorder, show interest and respect by asking them about themselves.
  • Let the person say no. If the person doesn’t want to talk about his or her situation, he or she will let you know. The person might tell you where you can find more information.
  • Use the K.I.S.S. principle and Keep It Short and Simple. Never use questions like “What’s wrong with him?” This can be highly offensive. A person may have a disability or a genetic disorder, but that does not mean there is something wrong with him or her as a person.  A better question to ask may be “May I ask you about your son/daughter’s skin/bandages/condition?” If you are the parent of a child with a disability or genetic disorder, keep your explanations short and simple. Any detailed explanation or any explanation involving medical jargon may confuse the listener. Keeping your explanation simple will help your child learn how to talk about his or her condition if you are not around.
  • Say thank you. If you’re the one asking the question, thank the disabled person for letting you ask. If you’re the one being asked, thank the questioner for asking. Even if the question results in the most awkward conversation you have ever had, these conversations help us fight ignorance instead of passively promoting it.

This is not a simple subject. Conversations about disabilities can be awkward, but we shouldn’t avoid them and remain ignorant about those around us. We can make a better society by taking an interest in those around us, teaching our children how to ask someone about their appearance or disability in a polite manner and embracing that people’s differences make our world amazing, inspiring and bright. The next time we find ourselves staring at someone, we should choose to understand that person’s situation rather than ignore it.

This article was adapted from an original article written by SooAnn Roberts Pisano for the Confetti Skin, Beauty Within website. She adds, “I hope this prov[id]es a tiny drop towards a ripple effect that gets us to talk to each other, even if it’s done in all the wrong ways.  After all, while saving face is nice, learning is what’s most important.”

Dr. Craig Bach Joins The Goddard School Blog!

For 25 years, The Goddard School has been a trusted name among parents and families. Our proven educational approach is based on the latest research in early childhood education.  For the past four years, we have shared expert knowledge and research on parenting through our blog.  We are committed to providing sound educational advice, news and research, and so we are thrilled to have our Vice President for Education, Craig Bach, Ph.D., share his extensive expertise here on The Goddard School blog.

Craig_BachDr. Bach is responsible for overseeing licensing and compliance, accreditation, quality assurance, training and curriculum for the 400 Goddard School locations across the nation.

“Assessment and evaluation are fundamental parts of everything my team implements at GSI. Studies continue to show the importance of early education in a child’s academic success. We want to make sure that we build on that research, so our educationally rich programs will continue to provide children with a solid foundation for a successful future,” said Dr. Bach.

Dr. Bach received his doctorate from the Group in Logic and Methodology of Science at U. C. Berkeley. He is an educational researcher with more than 15 years of experience in primary, secondary and postsecondary education, including five years in institutional research.  His areas of research include learning assessment, learning analytics, the philosophy of mathematics, instructional technologies, mathematics education and the application of philosophical methods to research.

To learn more about Dr. Bach, click here.

Signing with Your Little One

The Goddard SchoolBaby sign language has been increasing in popularity for the past ten years, but is it really helpful?  The recent study from researchers from the University of Hertfordshire (2012) found no evidence that using baby sign language helps to accelerate language development.  The study did show that the mothers who had used sign language with their infants behaved differently. They were more responsive to their babies’ nonverbal cues and they encouraged independent exploration. When parents are more attuned to their baby’s thoughts and feelings, babies are more likely to develop secure attachment relationships.

At The Goddard School®, we start teaching babies simple signs for communicating their basic needs, and you can too.  Start with words like more, drink, food/eat, book, bed/sleep, diaper and, of course, Mommy and Daddy.  Many online resources demonstrate how make the signs.  Don’t feel pressured or anxious if your baby doesn’t sign right away and just have fun.

Technology and Young Children

TechnologyYour children will encounter more types of technology than any previous generation. Many schools now use interactive white boards. Middle and high schools use online learning management systems as part of their core curricula. Most young children have access to tablets, computers and smartphones. With one click or touch, children can listen to a story, read a book or play games.

Providing your children with opportunities to explore technology will prepare them for their future school experiences. Here are five tips to help you get started with your young children:

  • Bookmark high-quality, educational websites for your child;
  • Play a favorite online game with your child and talk about what happens as you play;
  • Download children’s e-books and educational games to your smartphone or tablet;
  • Encourage your child to develop other interests, so your child will learn to put the tablet away and go out and play.

Edible Creations: Play with Your Food!

It’s a fact: children love to play with their food. Here’s an activity that is fun and lets children eat their creations!

Grab a couple bags of marshmallows (you can use minis, regular size or jumbo, or offer a selection of all three sizes) and a package or two of pretzel sticks. Set everything out on a table and let your little ones use their imaginations to create snowflakes, animals, houses and more by connecting the pretzel sticks to the marshmallows. When they are finished, snap pictures of their edible masterpieces for posterity and then dig in!


*An adult should oversee all activities.  Activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

The Goddard School Celebrates 25 Years by Giving Back

Beginning on January 15, Goddard Schools nationwide will participate in fundraising efforts to support Ronald McDonald House Charities. As 2013 marks The Goddard School’s 25th anniversary, the goal is to make a total donation of $250,000 to RMHC from all Goddard Schools and Goddard Systems, Inc.

For 25 years, The Goddard School has been committed to nurturing children into respectful, confident and joyful learners. We are excited to kick off our anniversary year by reinforcing this commitment and giving back to the communities that make our work possible.

At The Goddard School, children are taught about compassion and cooperation. To kick off our milestone year, we’re partnering with RMHC and providing a fantastic opportunity for children to further learn about good deeds and what it means to support those in need. The fundraising efforts for RMHC will allow children to learn firsthand the importance of helping other families in our community and across the country.

In order to reach our School’s individual goal, we are fundraising until February 15, 2013. What’s great is that the majority of the money we raise will stay in our local community.

In addition to our fundraising efforts, we will be creating birthday cards to support our local RMHC chapter. The birthday cards will be distributed throughout the year by RMHC directors to pediatric patients who celebrate a birthday during a hospital stay or family members who celebrate a birthday during a loved one’s hospital stay. For every birthday card we create, Goddard Systems, Inc. will donate $1 to RMHC, up to $25,000. Help us reach our goal by stopping in to create a very special card and brighten a child’s day!

Holiday Helpers at The Goddard School Choose This Year’s Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys

Children at Goddard Schools Nationwide Achieve Every Child’s Dream: Toy Tester

To help families choose fun and educational toys just in time for the holiday shopping season, The Goddard School, the leader in early childhood education, is recognizing this year’s best toys, as tested and chosen by the real experts—children.

Each year, Goddard Schools across the nation hold the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test to help families choose fun and educational toys just in time for the holiday shopping season. Toy manufacturers from throughout the country submitted more than a hundred toys, which were reviewed by a team of early childhood education experts at Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School. The 20 toy finalists were then put to the test at Goddard Schools in 20 cities nationwide, by children ranging from infants to six year olds.

“Playful learning is at the core of our curriculum at The Goddard School. We chose finalists for the Toy Test that provide interactive, playful learning experiences. We enjoy providing our children the opportunity to experiment with these toys and select their favorites,” said Sue Adair, director of education for GSI.

As part of The Goddard School’s commitment to playful learning, the children tested toys that allowed them to use their creativity and imaginations while playing and learning—piquing their interest and encouraging them to explore. The children’s votes were tallied and the Preschooler-Approved Top 10 Toys for 2012 were selected. The Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test winners include (in no particular order):

“Toys that encourage learning through play can assist a child’s development by helping children solve problems, build self-confidence and collaborate. We hope our Preschooler-Approved Top 10 Toys will be a helpful resource for parents as they choose toys for their children this holiday season.”

Local families also are invited to participate by voting for their favorite Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy beginning on November 15, 2012 at http://www.goddardschools.com/toys.

The toy that receives the most votes by December 3, 2012 will be announced as the 2012 winner and GSI will donate 100 of the winning toy to Toys for Tots.

For more information, visit http://www.goddardschool.com/toys.