New Goddard School Owners Are No Strangers To Franklin

Goddard School Opening3

Goddard School assistant director Jaleesa Lockhart, holding plaque, director Merideth Benevento, holding ribbon, and Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce president Michael Harris, right, prepare to cut the ribbon on the new Goddard School at the Shoppes at Pierce Street.

For the owners of the Goddard School in the Shoppes at Pierce Street, running the township’s newest early learning center is literally like coming home again.

Fred and Maria Bondoc, franchisees of the school which opened in November, are no strangers to the township. Aside from being former residents, the couple – who go by “Ms. Maria” and “Mr. Fred” – were also owners of two assisted living facilities in Somerset, Somerset Manor South and North.

“We love Franklin Township,” Fred Bondoc said.

The school, which offers daycare and early childhood education for children aged 6 weeks to pre-Kindergarten, held its grand opening celebration on Dec. 4. On hand to help celebrate were a DJ, face painter and balloon artist.

Also in attendance was Michael Harris, president of the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce, who presented the Bondocs with a plaque commemorating their membership in the organization.

The Bondocs have owned a Goddard School in Montville for the past 13 years. They said they chose Goddard for its teaching philosophy.

“We prefer the Goddard procedure” of encouraging children to learn through playing, Fred Bondoc said. “They enjoy themselves while they are learning.”

“The laid-back attitude of teaching them the rudiments of reading and numbers, we prefer that,” he said.

The school has about 25 students enrolled and 12 teachers.

“We anticipate the students coming, and provide the teacher,” Fred Bondoc said.

Goddard’s tuition “is competitive” with similar businesses in the township, Maria Bondoc said.

The students receive morning and afternoon snacks. The school is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The regular academic year runs from September though the end of June, Fred Bondoc said. He said the school also provides summer sessions during July and August.

“We have a lot of entertainment and some academics,” he said. He said field trips are provided for those students aged 4 years and older.

“We do at least one field trip a week” in the summer, he said.

Even though they own the business, the Bondocs are not the center of the operation, Maria Bondoc said.

“We’re not the heart of this school, it’s the staff,” she said. “You have to take good care of your staff, and they will take good care of the children.”



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