Offering well-rounded childhood preparation for social and academic success.
By: MICHELLE FASIG
When looking for options for childcare, most new parents often do not know where to start. Initially, they may not be sure what they are looking for other than a day care solution and a social environment. Often times, many childcare facilities seem like one and the same, and after a while the tours just blend together. However, the moment you step foot into the Goddard School in Suwanee at 4410 Johns Creek Parkway, it is immediately clear something is different. From children’s art lining the walls, the customized playrooms, and the warm and friendly approach of the staff, you are left immediately wanting to learn more about what makes this school so special.
The Suwanee location is among more than 450 Goddard Schools in the country, all of which follow the philosophy that a unique and nurturing approach gives each child the opportunity to develop into a confident learner who is prepared for success in school. Goddard prides itself on not being categorized as a day care facility. They are a preschool specialized for youngsters aged six weeks to five years old. Their approach is playbased learning designed around the proprietary F.L.EX learning program (fun learning experience), which offers child-focused, teacher-led lessons that are personalized and tailored to each child’s interests.
All of the teachers hold a bachelor’s degree in childhood development and create individualized lesson plans designed to cover subjects such as language arts, science, motor skills, math, creative art, and social science. There is a minimum of two teachers per classroom; so step-by-step learning can be tailored to suit the needs of each child. The daily learning program includes studies like sign language, music, painting and more. The learning does not stay confined to the classroom either, field trips are a large part of what makes learning fun, and the Goddard Suwanee location plans field trips all around the area.
What makes this location unique though is the loving and attentive staff, the majority of who have been there for over eight years. The teachers get to watch as each child learns, grows and develops, and creates a special, loving relationship with them along the way. “We are focused on the children, we are focused on making education fun, and we are passionate about creating an environment the children want to be in. These kids are our favorite part of the job. Who else has a job where they can get hugs all day?” says Assistant Director, Amanda Paul.
The Suwanee location is unique in that they try to create individualized experiences for each child. When the children are learning about nature, they are invited to plant seeds in their own little garden to learn how plants grow. During science, a full gazebo designed to look like the solar system is erected in the main hall and each child gets to enter with a teacher and a black light to learn about constellations. Their artwork is hung up on the walls and sometimes auctioned off to parents to raise money for local charities. At the time of the interview, there was even a red carpet and a backdrop of Hollywood so the children could enter the building like rock stars – just to put a smile on their faces.
The learning process starts as young as six weeks when the teachers begin teaching sign language to the infants to overcome the nonverbal barrier. This is a skill they continue to teach them all the way through pre-school so they begin kindergarten with another form of communication. Each May they hold a graduation ceremony to send the preschoolers off to kindergarten complete with caps and gowns. In preparation for this big day, they go so far as to bring in a yellow school bus to teach the children about school bus safety.
With the years of experience under each teacher’s belt, it appears that there is not a single subject the Goddard School in Suwanee does not approach. Unlike typical day care facilities, not only does your child become introduced into a social environment, but they also create learning building blocks along the way. The Suwanee location has seen so many repeat parents, and has created amazing bonds with those families over the years. This success has earned them quite the reputation in the surrounding area and spots for next year are already filling up with many of the classes wait-listed. If you are interested in learning more about Goddard Suwanee, you can always stop in for a free tour and a smile. Learn more at ww.GoddardSchool.com.