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The Goddard School Eyes Avon for New Daycare

The daycare has submitted an application to build a school on Darling Drive.

Credit: Provided by the town of Avon
Credit: Provided by the town of Avon
A popular daycare program that educates children from six weeks old to pre-kindergarten through play-based learning is looking to open in Avon. 

Exacta Box LLC has applied to build an Avon location for The Goddard School at 50 Darling Drive on land Metro Realty Group LTD owns in an industrial park zone. The property is "a remnant piece from the recently completed Peachtree Village project" with 105 apartment units for residents 62 an older, according to comments from town staff. 

The Avon Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special exception request to allow a daycare at the location at its Dec. 10 meeting and continued review of the site plan to Jan. 14.  

Rebecca Smith, of Simsbury, and her family would run the school. 

"Working in the Education Field is not just a job for me it is a passion. I knew when I was in second grade that teaching and helping children learn was what I wanted to do," Smith said in a statement included in her application. 

The building proposed is a one-story, 8,600-square-foot structure that would house up to 124 children and 24 adults. The site isn't far from the 20 Security Drive property, owned by Litchfield businessman and past Congressional candidate Mark Greenberg, where the Capitol Region Education Council has temporarily located Reggio Magnet School of the Arts until the new Waterville Road school opens Jan. 6. 

There are more than 400 Goddard schools in 35 states and the program was founded 25 years ago. Simsbury residents Nancy and Kristina Ford recently opened a Goddard school in Farmington, run by Educational Director Marissa Pratt, of Canton. There are other locations in Brookfield, Danbury, Glastonbury and Orange. Wilton's Planning and Zoning Commission has approved another Goddard school in its town that will be built soon.

The State of Connecticut licenses The Goddard Schools, which also meet Common Core standards and do their own Quality Assurance Reviews of student progress. The schools follow the philosophy based on academic research that "children experience the deepest, most genuine learning when they are having fun," according to the application.

"When opening and running a school it is important to teach the children the information that they need to learn to become successful throughout their educational career," Smith said in her statement. "At the Goddard School those building blocks are taught to the students while making their learning experience fun and enjoyable. When students are having fun with what they are learning they become engaged in the lesson."

Smith studied early childhood education at Tunxis Community College and received a bachelor of science degree in child studies at Post University in Waterbury in 2012 and a master of education degree in teaching and learning there this past year, according to her resume. She has also taught as a substitute teacher at the elementary level in Simsbury Public Schools, worked in Simsbury's enrichment and extended day programs and been a teacher's assistant at the Cobb School Montessori in Simsbury.

She has also previously worked at Antonio's Restaurant in Simsbury, Carmen Anthony's Fish House in Avon and The Perfect Toy in Avon as a "preschool expert" and sales clerk. Smith is also is a confirmation leader at First Church of Christ in Simsbury, where she has also advised the high school youth group.

"It is my goal to have students become engaged and motivated in what they are learning at an early age," Smith said. "By encouraging children to enjoy learning early on you are setting them up for success in the rest of their educational career."

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