STIRLING, NJ - A large crowd gathered at the Plainfield Road construction site in Stirling for the ceremonial ground breaking of The Goddard School of Long Hill on Saturday, February 17. 

Long Hill Mayor Guy  Piserchia along with councilmen, Planning Board members, Historic Preservation Committee members and local chamber members were present to welcome owners Sumara and Imran Ahmad to the community.

Mayor Piserchia thanked the Ahmads for their patience through the process to get to this point. The property was the home of a 1700s dwelling that was demolished prior to the ground breaking. The Long Hill Historic Commission was able to document the architectural features of the dwelling prior to demolishing. The new Goddard School will incorporate some stones from the dwelling into the new building to preserve the history.

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The new 8,600 square foot school, scheduled to open late fall, will have learning space for 135 students from six weeks to six years. Registration will begin mid April.

The Goddard franchise has been around for 30 years. "It is considered to be a leader in early childhood education," said Sumara Ahmad. "What we are bringing to Long Hill Township is a tried and tested educational program that has proven to be very successful. Throughout the Goddard School history we have provided the communities we serve with the best in early childhood education." 

Mayor Piserchia is thrilled to have this "welcome addition" to Long Hill Township. "There is no greater gift that one can give a child than that of an excellent education -- the Goddard School has an incredible reputation. I speak for the town, that we are incredibly proud that you have chosen to make Long Hill Township your home," said Mayor Piserchia.

The Ahmads are the parents of two young children and recognize the importance of a safe and nurturing learning environment. "Our family is the basis for the reason we chose The Goddard School. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Goddard's outstanding program to the children of Long Hill, Warren, Berkeley Heights, Basking Ridge and Bernards township," said Sumara Ahmad. "Thank you for making our dream a reality," she said to the crowd.

Sumara Ahmad explained the Goddard School Flex program and the presence of an education director and owner on site at all times sets them apart. "The Goddard school FLEX  Learning Program is based on the latest research in how children learn and was designed with assistant of child development experts. The program encompasses developmental guidelines with formative assessments, child-focused lesson plans, a creative and fun environment and a personalized child-centered approach that meets each child’s needs.

"The FLEX Learning Program sets us apart -- it is designed to instill a lifelong love for learning," said Sumara Ahmad. "Our program offers a creative and fun learning environment that focuses on each child's development in the learning activities. We do not have a box curriculum and the teachers develop their own lesson plans. We include arts, technology, social development, children are allowed to explore in activities that are set up in each learning center."  

"The Goddard School is not a day care center, we are a school, so our mission is the development of children. Whether gently holding an infant, encouraging toddlers to share, or providing preschoolers with enriching activities, caring teachers support children’s healthy development from six weeks to six years."

The Goddard School is located at 57 Plainfield Rd. in Stirling. Click here to learn more about The Goddard School.