Early education is vital and choosing a school for your child begins early. The Goddard School offers programs for infants to preschoolers, and specializes in child development, early learning, technology integration, brain development, and parent engagement.
The Goddard School will be at the 2017 Chicago Baby Show, on August 26 and 27, at Navy Pier, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families comes to Chicagoland. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the Chicago Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and beyond!
Tickets to the Chicago Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We spoke with Bill Swan, Ph.D., owner of The Goddard School, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the Chicago Baby Show.
For someone unfamiliar with The Goddard School, how would you describe the school’s mission and core offerings?
We are a school, not a daycare center, so our mission is the development of children. Our nurturing approach to teaching will give your child the opportunity to develop into a joyful confident learner who is prepared for success in school and life. Child-focused learning and skilled teachers fostering teachable moments to help create a stimulating warm environment for learning and early development. Children are offered a variety of enrichment programs to support a fun learning environment. Enrichment programming includes sign language, music, yoga, chess and even a Pre-K Shakespeare program. Daily individualized reports and formal assessments track a child’s development and successes. Photos and videos are also sent to parents during the day to help them feel connected to their child during the school day. The Goddard School Upper West Side is located on Broadway at 93rd St and The Goddard School Upper East Side is located on York Avenue at 90th St.
Tell us about the school’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?
The Goddard Schools has been in existence for over 25 years and is considered a leader in early childhood education. In New York City, the first Goddard School opened in 2011 at the Upper West Side campus- 93rd & Broadway serving infants to Pre- kindergarten. In early 2015, we opened a Goddard School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan located on 90th and York Avenue. This smaller program served infants to preschoolers. In 2017 an annex was build supplementing the current school adding 3 classrooms. This addition allowed for more children to have the Goddard experience and supported our full range of ages serve, infants to Pre-kindergarten.
What programs does The Goddard School offer? Are there any new programs on the horizon?
Children are offered a variety of programs to help stimulate and support their school experience. Teachers prepare daily themed lesson plans that encompass learning centers that include dramatic play, math, creative art, science, language arts, technology and social development. Children are allowed to explore and engage with the activities that are set up for them in the learning centers. In the technology center, older children are given the opportunity to work on educational games on either a desktop computer or iPad with a partner and with guidance of the teacher. Teachers will support the children’s play by asking open- ended questions or capturing teachable moments as the children play at each center with one another. In addition to the daily learning centers the children will experience special programs. A music teacher visits the schools three times a week, playing instruments and teaching music theory, while encouraging dance/ movement and music exploration. Chess is introduced to our preschoolers through a program called Chess at 3. This program teaches chess through interactive and engaging stories. The stories are then mimicked on the chessboard teaching the children basic concepts, vocabulary and strategies relating to the game. The Pre-Kindergartners have a special drama program called Shakes Pre-K. This class focuses on the works of Shakespeare in an accessible way for young audiences. Sign language is taught to all ages, as it is an especially helpful communication tool for our pre-verbal children. Gross motor play is important to early childhood development. Therefore, the children have opportunities to play in our indoor gym, attend walking trips, visit the neighborhood playgrounds or engage in onsite gross motor classes like soccer.
What sets The Goddard School apart in the education industry?
The Goddard School has a unique approach to early learning as we follow a play-based curriculum. The Goddard FLEX Learning Program is designed to instill a lifelong love of learning. Developed with the assistance of early childhood education experts, FLEX learning is based on the latest research on how children learn. This comprehensive play- centered curriculum provides the optimal environment for each child’s development. The Goddard Schools are also supported by Dr. Kyle Pruett, a Yale University child psychiatrist, and consultant to The Goddard School as well as an Education Advisory Board. The Education Advisory Board comprises of educators, researchers and experts in child development, early learning, technology integration, brain development, parent engagement, health and nutrition. The goal of the Education Advisory Board is to provide The Goddard Schools with valuable guidance and support as they continue to chart a sustainable course for growth and leadership in early childhood education.
What can parents expect from The Goddard School at the Chicago Baby Show?
I will be there to meet with parents to share information about The Goddard School, so please stop by and say hello!
To learn more about The Goddard School, check out goddardschool.com.