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Goddard School opens in Lake Ridge

- They teach courses with titles like “Algebraic Thinking” and “Citizenship, Rules and Responsibility.” They allow students to participate in theatrical productions. They drill in five languages. It’s the best education your preschooler will ever get.

Goddard School opens in Lake Ridge

They teach courses with titles like “Algebraic Thinking” and “Citizenship, Rules and Responsibility.” They allow students to participate in theatrical productions. They drill in Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese.

It’s the best education your preschooler will ever get.

“The education is individually catered to each child,” said Nazlin Alidina, the owner of the Goddard School of Lake Ridge, Va., a private preschool franchise that opened its doors on Jan. 14. Hers is one of nearly 400 Goddard schools across the country. “Not every child is the same, so they’re not going to learn at the same level.”

Goddard School students are exposed to foreign languages as early as infancy, with Spanish serving as a “base,” after which the four other tongues are introduced.

“We do sign language for infants,” Nazlin elaborated. “We’re basically developing that capacity from six weeks onward. By the time they’re three or four months old they can sign that they want more food or more milk, often before they can speak. And it’s not just teaching them to sign; it’s helping develop their brains.”

Broad development is the goal of The Goddard School system, explained Tony Padulo.

“Our education background has distinguished us,” said Padulo, who serves as vice president of franchise development at the corporate level. “We’ve always been very strong proponents of learning through play, of fun learning, and of an all-around focus on the individuality of the children. In most schools, every class is taught exact same way. Ours is based on each child’s needs. Children learn in different ways. We teach proactively that going to school is truly fun. The goal is to have them wanting to learn as opposed to viewing it as a nuisance.”

So far, the strategy seems to be paying off. In a recent study by Children’s Progress, a group with roots at Columbia University, Goddard students were found to “consistently outperform the general population of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten [Children’s Progress Academic Assessment] users by a significant margin” across all categories.

That came as no surprise to Alidina, the owner of the Lake Ridge school, who was motivated to found her location based on the experience she had with her own children.

“I had my first child 16 years ago and I decided to stay home,” she said. “We realized it was better to be there for him. I really wanted him to have a caring, nurturing environment. Eight years later I had twins, and I enjoyed having the kids so much that I decided to go into business. That’s when decided go into education field.”

Nazlin underwent a three-year process that included police background checks; state licensing; training at The Goddard School’s corporate headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa.; and multiple interviews. She said it was worth it.

“My 16-year-old son started French at 3 years old. Right now, in his second year of high school he’s in his last year of French. We introduce these kids to computers as early as 3. When they leave here, they are so ready for school.”

That readiness isn’t cheap: monthly tuition ranged from $1,300 for infants to $975 for older children.

“It’s not inexpensive,” conceded Padulo, the vice president for franchise development. “But compared to what we offer, it’s worth the value. How many childcare centers can boast of the curriculum we have? That value, that quality, is our primary consideration.”

The Lake Ridge location can be reached at 703-490-8553.
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