New preschool being built in North Bellmore


Passersby may have noticed The Goddard School being built at 1641 Bellmore Road. Nearing the end of its construction, the preschool will soon offer a unique spin on education to dozens of children.

Goddard Schools have 550 locations throughout 38 states. The North Bellmore school, which will educate 122 children, will be the first to open in Nassau County and the second to open on Long Island.

Wendy Somers and Carmel Burke Bonesso, co-franchisees of the school, wanted to bring play-based learning to the community, with opportunities for kids to have fun while learning the skills needed for long-term success in school and life.

Somers and Burke Bonesso answered some of the Herald’s questions about the new Goddard School.

H: What sets Goddard apart from other schools?

W: The Goddard School is the premiere provider of early childhood education in the country. Our approach is that children learn the best while having fun. It is at the core of our curriculum and allows the flexibility for our teachers to customize and individualize the lesson plans according to the needs and interests of the children. It’s fun-based learning!

H: What are the teaching styles at the school?

W: We’re here to be a strong support system for parents as they set out on this adventure of raising their little ones. That’s why it’s so important for us to take an individualized approach to how each child learns. Our FLEX framework (Fun Learning Experience), allows children to engage in activities they’re interested in. They’re learning things like sign language, conducting science experiments, learning about nature, and developing a love for literacy by engaging with teachers during story time.

H: What are the class sizes?

C: We can accommodate approximately 122 children in our school across 10 different rooms. Classrooms are broken out by age with separate classrooms for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. We also have two playgrounds, an indoor gym, and an outdoor classroom to give children space to play and learn both indoors and outdoors.

H: What routines can be found in each of the classrooms?

C: There’s a daily schedule for each classroom and for each child. Teachers often have the day mapped out before children arrive. With our flexible curriculum, there are also opportunities for teachers to build in time for children to explore on their own.

H: What are unique experiences and lessons parents could expect their children to learn?

W: Social and emotional learning is a main focus of our curriculum. Its especially important now as children are reengaging in normal routines. We’re helping children build strong relationships, teaching them how to control their emotions and how to be kind to themselves and to others.

H: What is the philosophy when it comes to educating the individual child?

C: Children have unique interests and needs, which is why it’s important that we take a flexible approach to create those fun learning experiences. Both structured learning and allowing children time to explore are important. Teachers plan out the children’s days and also build in time to meet their individual needs.