SOURCE: Goddard Systems

September 20, 2010 17:06 ET

The Goddard School Promotes the Power of Play for Learning

Childcare Franchisor Selected as Exclusive National Preschool Sponsor of Play for Tomorrow's Ultimate Block Party

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA--(Marketwire - September 20, 2010) -  Play for Tomorrow's Ultimate Block Party is coming, and The Goddard School hopes that it will change the way you think about play forever. In a national event on October 3 in the Bandshell area of New York City's Central Park, and in Mini Block Parties at Goddard Schools nationwide during the preceding week, the organizing team, Play for Tomorrow, will join forces with The Goddard School and non-profit organizations, government agencies and large corporations to kick-off a powerful new, global movement designed to recognize and celebrate the power of play for learning. 

"Playful learning has always been at the heart of the curriculum at The Goddard School," states Sue Adair, Director of Education and Quality Assurance for Goddard Systems, Inc. "It's been clear to us all along that children learn best when new skills are presented to them in a playful and engaging way, and now there is a whole body of research to back us up."

Play for Tomorrow is the consortium behind the "playful learning" movement. The Ultimate Block Party is the premier event in a national education movement, co-founded by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, who believes that how we play as children helps us succeed in school and shapes who we become as adults. "The workforce of 2040 is in our preschools today," says Dr. Hirsh-Pasek, "and we must ensure that, as a nation, we are well equipped to thrive in our global economy." Together with its partners, Play for Tomorrow is committed to building a public groundswell for the importance of play in fostering lifelong learning and to help enact change in policy and education. 

"The Goddard School has been selected as the exclusive national preschool sponsor of Ultimate Block Party because of its long-standing commitment to the importance of play in early childhood education," states Adair. As an activity sponsor at the Central Park event, and in Mini Block Parties ranging from a single day to a full week at individual schools, Goddard will invite children and families to join in fun-filled, playful learning activities designed to make learning an engaging and hands-on experience.

As part of the culmination of the events leading up to the main Ultimate Block Party in Central Park, on October 1, at 10 am local time, all Goddard School children will participate in a nationwide game of "Simon Says" and then join in singing the Goddard School Play Along song, written exclusively for The Goddard School. The song's final chorus sums up the spirit of the Play for Tomorrow movement: "Goddard's power of play makes learning fun, and we've only just begun."

Parents will also ask their children to take a "Play Pledge" that states, "We believe in the Power of Play. Our family pledges to encourage playful learning. We recognize that play helps children explore and discover and is the foundation of creative and confident learning." Beginning September 2, families also can take the "Play Pledge" on Goddard Schools' Facebook, and download The Goddard School Play Along Song and helpful play tips by visiting www.goddardschool.com/blockparty.

"Many of the critical life skills that contribute to success in the workplace are actually developed on the playground and in the playroom," says Adair. "Play time helps children develop creative and problem-solving abilities, encourages them to work cooperatively and builds their self-confidence. These are the skills that we need in our government and business leaders of tomorrow."

To learn more about playful learning and The Goddard School, families are encouraged to visit www.goddardschool.com/blockparty.

About Goddard Systems, Inc. www.goddardschool.com
Recently named #1 Childcare Franchise in the United States, by Entrepreneur magazine, for the eighth consecutive year (January 2010) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the second consecutive year (October 2008); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School® network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 360+ franchised schools with more than 43,000 students in 34 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier childcare provider in the United States.

About Play for Tomorrow www.UltimateBlockParty.com
In 2009, a small group of educators, business leaders, authors and researchers formed Play for Tomorrow to champion the importance of play in the lives of children. Conceived as a multi-tiered social movement, the groundbreaking initiative aims to ensure that all children are provided with the competitive skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century global economy as well as build a public dialog to underscore the importance of play in fostering lifelong achievement and social, emotional and physical well being. Play for Tomorrow is committed to working towards affecting policy and education delivery and overcoming the disconnect between what we know about learning and how we are teaching. The organization's mission is to change attitudes, beliefs and practices about playful learning among families, educators, childcare providers, pediatricians and policymakers.