NORTH BRUNSWICK – Children enrolled at the Goddard School in North Brunswick are learning how to “Root for Earth.”
The weeklong Earth Day celebration took place from April 22-26, with activities such as turning off the lights for an hour to learn about energy consumption, finishing an art project using recyclable materials, visiting Bayshore Recycling in the Keasbey section of Woodbridge, composting, and planting flowers outside, for the 6-week-old to 6-year-old students of the school.
“The younger ones understand the concept of keeping the earth clean,” on-site owner Bruce Goodarz said.
The school also collected all single-use plastic items used within the school from April 1-21 to show a visual concept of what students and faculty use, Educational Director Melissa Irizarry said.
The grounds just off of Route 1 also include a garden.
“As we pick vegetables we serve it to them,” and the extras are put in the lobby for parents, Goodarz said.
Goodarz said environmental consciousness is an important part of the Goddard mission. He said social awareness is key because Goddard is not a daycare center, but instead focuses on education and enrichment. Irizarry said goal-oriented planning, with a purpose, allows children to learn while they think they are playing.
“We teach kids about not just getting ready for school, but ready for life,” Irizarry said.
For example, through the Level Up Village component of the curriculum, the North Brunswick school will be paired with a school in Zimbabwe for the next eight weeks to learn about their cultures and customs through videos and webinars.
“It’s to establish global awareness,” Irizarry said.
The students are also exposed to Community Helper Week, Fire Prevention Week, Black History Month, autism awareness, lupus awareness, breast cancer awareness and heart health.
“Our responsibility is to make them ready for the next step when they graduate to public school or private school,” Goodarz said.
“[And] every day there is an emphasis on manners and appropriate behavior,” Irizarry said.
Currently, there are 103 children enrolled at the North Brunswick location. The academic year runs from September to June 30, while summer camp is held from July 1 to Aug. 31. Summer programs include pirate magic, bubble mania, science, storytelling, musical IQ, young chefs, a petting zoo and pony ride, and even field trips. Goodarz said the camps are interactive and good for social skills as all participate.
A BBQ planned for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 8 will allow existing parents to celebrate the school year, while inviting prospective families to visit the school. The open house will include face painting, bubbles, a pony ride, a petting zoo, characters, food and music.
“To me, it is really important to have fun,” Goodarz said.
Then, graduation is planned for June 28.
“To me, it is really important when they graduate from here that people know they are Goddard graduates. … I want them to remember where they graduated from,” he said.
The Goddard School is located at 1846 Route 1 north, just past the North Brunswick Pub, in the same shopping area as UFC GYM.
For more information, visit goddardschool.com or call 732-951-9200.
Contact Jennifer Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org.