Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Goddard School Franchise Owners

A father and son have teamed up to open The Goddard School located in Mount Pleasant, SC. The newest Goddard School officially opened on Monday, May 11, and is now enrolling.

Andrew Smith and his oldest son, Nathan, turned owning a Goddard School into a family business. They both have a strong passion for education and an appreciation for the importance of play-based learning. For generations, the family has encouraged having fun while learning and developing independence. This led to a partnership between Andrew and Nathan, who wanted to bring a high-quality, play-based learning program to Mount Pleasant families.

“I want to foster an environment where children love to arrive every day and where parents know their child’s daily care and development is an extension of the same nurturing they are providing at home,” Andrew said. “I also want to build a team of faculty members that considers all of the students’ families and coworkers as an extension of their own families, and most importantly, to fulfill this dream with my son, Nathan, at my side.”

“From as early as I can remember, my parents have instilled in me a love for and the importance of education. I was given the opportunities to grow, to succeed, to thrive and, even at times, to fail. All of which shaped me into the person I am today,” Nathan said. “It is an absolute dream for me to go into business with my dad. The fact that we’re giving so much back to families and the community makes this adventure even better.”

The newest Goddard School, located at 1151 Muhlenbergia Drive, Mount Pleasant, SC, will be open Monday to Friday from 6:30 AM to 6 PM.

For more information about The Goddard School located in Mount Pleasant, SC, visit


Four ways to connect with colleagues image

The year 2020 has been an eventful year – sorry – five months. We’ve spent more than 90 days following stay-at-home orders, wearing face coverings to shop for essentials and trying (and failing) to find soap and hand sanitizer anywhere. During this time, we’ve also dealt with unemployment, furloughs, work from home and homeschooling. (We won’t talk about that last one.) On top of this, we’re experiencing the biggest civil rights movement in history.

What does this mean? We’re tired, scared and stressed. Living through these huge events often means that we put our own needs on hold, including the very important and basic need: human connection. While social media use may have increased dramatically over the past few weeks, it will never solely meet the need for maintaining personal connections.

Under normal circumstances, I talk to numerous co-workers during a workday, sometimes about work, but often it’s about our personal lives. It helps relieve stress, break up my day and even clear my head, which serves to enhance the quality of the work I produce. To help cultivate these same experiences during social distancing, many co-workers and friends have found other ways to stay connected. So, to celebrate National Best Friend’s Day, here are some ideas that may help you maintain and grow your relationships.

  1. Give them a phone call.

As a millennial, I dislike phone calls, so just text me. Send me an email. It’s faster. Under normal circumstances, I’d probably still feel this way, but now, I’ve realized that hearing a friend or co-workers voice provides a deeper connection than an email or text message. I feel better after chatting with someone on the phone. I think it leads to more robust conversation and shares your thoughts or frustrations, but just remember to talk about things other than work.

  1. Host a virtual happy hour.

Before COVID-19, my co-workers would set up a monthly happy hour at a nearby bar or restaurant. Now, they’ve evolved it into a bi-weekly virtual happy hour. This is a great way for all of us to see each other and chat about anything non-work related. Sometimes a game or two is played, but overall it’s a fun way to relax and let off steam.

  1. Start a virtual book club.

Book clubs can be a lot of fun and reading is fundamental. It’s interesting to listen to co-workers and friends discuss what they took away from each chapter and for you to share your takeaways. Given our country’s current circumstances, consider choosing books written by authors of color, particularly ones that dissect racism. Here’s a great list to get you started.

  1. Plan a video call.

Along the same lines of virtual happy hours and book clubs, are video chats. Try scheduling time to chat with a co-worker or two during a virtual coffee or lunch break. It’s more intimate than the entire team, and it’s another great way to break up the day.

So tell us, how do you stay connected with friends and co-workers?

Black History Month Betsey Stockton and the Perry Preschool Project image

At GSI, we are always working to provide the very best in early childhood education. For Black History Month, we are highlighting Betsey Stockton, a pioneer of adaptive teaching, and the Perry Preschool Project, a groundbreaking education research study. Stockton and the Perry Preschool Project had the same goal: finding a way to provide children with the best learning experiences.

Betsey Stockton: Pioneer of Early Childhood Education

Betsey Stockton’s work as a missionary kickstarted her involvement in early childhood education. Born into slavery in New Jersey in 1798, she was taught to read and expressed her desire to become a missionary when she was about 20 years old. When Betsey was freed in the 1820s, she went to Hawaii to fulfill this dream and launch her teaching career.

In Hawaii, Betsey taught at the mission school, educating both local and missionary children using the monitorial method, according to a National Association for the Education of Young Children article. This teaching method grouped children by ability, and more experienced students, known as monitors, led the groups.

Betsey returned to the East Coast, and in 1828 she was recruited by the Infant School Society of Philadelphia to teach at a new infant school, where teachers would educate young children using a combination of play and learning activities based on observing objects or studying picture cards. To prepare for the position, Betsey trained in New York. When she returned to Philadelphia, she started what would become a successful infant school for African American students. Due to her expertise, Betsey was soon asked to train teachers to educate Ojibwa students at a mission site on Grape Island in Canada. Betsey’s work here would serve as a blueprint for other mission schools in the area.

Betsey then taught at the Witherspoon Street School for Colored Children in Princeton for nearly 30 years. To honor her inspiring work, Princeton University named a garden after Betsey in 2018, saying, “Given the many lives she nurtured over the course of her courageous life, we believe it is fitting that she be commemorated in a garden that we hope will be a place of beauty and reflection for both town and gown.”

The Perry Preschool Project

This 1960s research study only lasted a few years, but the results showed that the right kind of education can benefit children for the rest of their lives. From 1962 to 1967, David Weikart, a psychologist, and Charles Eugene Beatty, the principal of Perry Elementary School in Ypsilanti, MI, worked together to create a program that would bolster the cognitive skills of disadvantaged African American children.

The program selected African American children from three to four years old and randomly assigned them either to a control group that received no pre-k education or an intervention group. Teachers worked with the students in the intervention group every day on planning and executing tasks and then reviewing the results. The intentional teaching strategy they used ultimately showed long-term positive results. The researchers followed the children into adulthood, and they found that the intervention students were more likely to have attained higher levels of education with fewer suspensions, were more likely to be employed and were less likely to commit crimes than the members of the control group.

A summary of the findings by the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, the organization behind the project, concluded that “all young children living in low-income families should have access to preschool programs that have features that are reasonably similar to those of the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program.”

James Heckman, a Nobel laureate, an economist and the current head of Perry Preschool research, said the program saw success because it could “activate the spark” of learning in the students while also engaging their parents, according to The Hechinger Report.

A Lasting Legacy

Betsey Stockton and the Perry Preschool Project have been instrumental in shaping early childcare education. At GSI, we are inspired by education leaders, and we are grateful to the educators who help children create brighter futures.

The Goddard School

After each spending about 28 years in the software consulting industry, Swati and Sunil Kapdi decided to open a nationally acclaimed private early childhood education center known for its play-based curriculum and individualized learning experience. 

Teaching has been my passion since high school,” Swati said. I used to do tutoring for elementary, middle and high school children during the initial years of my career.” 

This is the second The Goddard School to open in Georgetown proper this year, reflecting the community’s rapid growth. Swati and Sunil fulfilled their dream of opening their own preschool to meet the demand for early childhood education options in the area. 

We love to be around children, and we are committed to providing them the best education and support in their early years of development,” Swati said. We feel fortunate to be able to influence them during their developmental stages and make an impact in their life. 

The newly constructed preschool, located at 3740 Williams Drive, officially opened on Jan. 2. More than 180 children ages six weeks to six years old will attend the preschool and experience its unique play-based learning curriculum. They will also provide before/after school programs and summer camp programs for elementary children.  

The preschool is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

For more information about the newest The Goddard School in Georgetown (Williams Drive), TX, visit 

The Goddard School Philadelphia PA

For the first time in its more than 30-year history, The Goddard School® opens its first location in the City of Philadelphia.

The newest location, opened by experienced on-site owners Jillie Staffiera and Jon Drialo, officially opened at 2201 Pine Street on Monday, Nov. 25, and is serving families that live within walking distance of the School.

“We’re excited to bring the first Goddard School to this Philadelphia neighborhood,” said on-site owner Jillie Staffiera.

The newly renovated, 12,624-square-foot, 100-year-old building was revitalized with a completely restored exterior and modernized interior. Natural light permeates from each classroom into the hallways from the newly installed windows. Inside the newly polished brick walls is a fresh, unique spin on what an early childhood education center looks like. Original, industrial-style architecture features of the building were maintained, like the exposed brick and high ceilings. But the inside was designed for children to learn, grow and have fun.

There’s even a 1,300 square-foot multipurpose room with a ‘Wall of Imagination.’ Children can use their ingenuity to build different objects using big blue blocks. This type of activity promotes social development and fine motor skills and encourages learning while having fun.

Inside The Goddard School Philadelphia PA

Growth in Philadelphia’s metro area is a part of GSI’s plan to target cities across the country for new Schools, complementing the franchise system’s current suburban development model. By opening metro locations like the one at 22nd & Pine, GSI is capitalizing on metro areas in need for high-quality early childhood education facilities to help support the growing need for childcare.

“We recognize how much of a positive impact a high-quality education can have on a child’s life. Goddard’s unique nurturing approach will help children develop into joyful, confident learners who are prepared for success in school and in life,” Jillie said.

Salute to Our Veterans image

This Veteran’s Day we would like to honor all who served to help protect our country.  Additionally, we are proud to have several veterans working with us at GSI. We sat down with three veterans, IT operations lead, Tom; application analyst, Lorrie and editor, Jim who shared their experiences with us.

Jim served in the 417th and the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadrons in the United States Air Force in the Vietnam War from 1972 to 1975. Growing up, Jim’s mother was a medical illustrator for the United States Navy Air and Space program. She brought home colorful aerospace magazines for Jim to read. This sparked curiosity and a dream of flying in him. When he was 26 years old, he was drafted to serve in the United States Army, but Jim opted to join the United States Air Force instead to fulfill his dream of flying jet aircraft. After completing flight school and many rigorous training courses in the CONUS, Jim’s service allowed him to travel all over Europe and Asia including living in Spain for four years, as well as living on and off in Viet Nam, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, England, Greece and Italy.

Military veterans near plane

After serving in the United States Air Force, Jim joined the United States Civil Air Patrol and became a squadron commander. For 20 years, he used his passion for flying to assist in counter-narcotics missions, to help rescue victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters and to give flying training to cadets. He described his overall experience as exciting and attributes his good health to the habits he learned in the military.

Jim Lynch

Tom enlisted in the United States Air Force; he was on active duty from 2007 to 2010. During his time on active duty, he was stationed in Tucson, AZ at Davis Monthan Air Force Base and assigned to the 55 Rescue Squadron. Their mission was Combat Search and Rescue, which meant they were worldwide deployable within 24 hours regardless of time, weather conditions or hostile threats. Tom’s role was to run the operations to ensure the aircrew and the helicopters were able to carry out this mission. While stationed stateside, he supported the country with search and rescue events, such as supporting Hurricane Gustavo where we saved 27 lives.

Tom Belle in front of unit mission statement

In 2009, he was deployed to Iraq, where he supported the special forces as the taxi to get them in and out of their missions. In the second half of 2009, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as a combat medevac which saved 475 lives and brought home 10 KIA. Upon returning home, Tom was accepted into the Palace Chase program. This program allows active-duty enlisted members to complete the remainder of their initial contract in the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserves. From 2010 to 2013, he was enlisted in the New Jersey Air National Guard and assigned to the 177th Fighter Wing. During his time there, he provided support to Jersey City, NJ during and after Hurricane Sandy.

Lorrie served in the United States Navy on active duty for five years during the Gulf War. She was an IT technician at the Navy Management Systems Support Office (NAVMASSO) stationed at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk VA. NAVMASSO’s mission was to design all non-tactical software for the entire Naval fleet. Lorrie continued to serve for nine more years in the Naval Reserve as an explosive ordinance handler at the Naval Weapons Station in Earle, NJ. During her time in the Navy, she was awarded several medals and ribbons, including two Good Conduct Medals, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Navy Reserve and National Defense Service Medals and two Sharpshooter ribbons.

Lorrie Marks while in military

At Goddard Systems, Inc., we are forever grateful for the veterans whose work ensures not only our freedom, but the future for our children. This Veteran’s Day, take time to thank the men and women who have served and are still serving, for their bravery and sacrifice. We’d like to thank Jim, Lorrie and Tom, – and all veterans – for their service to our country and GSI!

Plaque on building for Monal B Patel

Bhavesh Patel has been working toward his goal of opening his Goddard School located in Granger, IN for three years, in memory of his late wife.

>>>Read more of the story here<<<

Wall of The Goddard School of Bala Cynwyd, PA

Goddard Systems, Inc., the franchisor of The Goddard School, is looking back on more than 30 years of success in early childhood education franchising as it proudly announces the opening of the 500th location in Bala Cynwyd, PA.

Read the full article at

Portrait photo of woman
Janice Kennedy, owner of The Goddard School located in Olathe (Northwest), KS, reflects upon how her six years in the US Army Reserve prepared her for owning a Goddard franchise in this fascinating article for Authority Magazine.


Owner and director working

Franchisees like Priya Punugoti, owner of the newest Goddard School located in Lewisville, TX, exemplify the type of ambitious, altruistic entrepreneur that the brand attracts.