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What’s It Like to Be a Doodle Bugs! Teacher, You Ask?

October 30, 2014

Introducing our guest blogger: Ashley Stenzel is a lead preschool teacher at our Orchard Park, NY center. She offers an inside look at what it’s like to be a teacher at Doodle Bugs! and insight on the opportunities for early childhood education providers within the Doodle Bugs! Children’s Centers company. She is an active participant in several Doodle Bugs! initiatives, and her hard work and dedication to our program and its success is extraordinary. Ashley truly lives the C.A.R.E. values and is a valuable member of the team. Here is her story…ashley1

I have been working at Doodle Bugs! for almost 5 years now. I started working at Doodle Bugs! as a teacher assistant in February 2010 because I wanted more experience and to see what else was available in the early childhood education field. Boy, did I pick a great place to go! While working at Doodle Bugs! I have learned so much! I learned about how much Doodle Bugs! truly cares about every child that walks through the door. We have a professionalism that speaks volumes to the outside community. We have policies to ensure that children are safe and clean every day.

I became a lead toddler teacher in 2012 and I am now a preschool teacher. I am working with the Bug Squad team, which is where a group of faculty members go out into the community to promote our programs and brand. I am also a care provider for the Buffalo Bills and Sabres during the home games. I also am a mentor to the new employees at Doodle Bugs!, which is a great program and really helps acclimate new faculty members to the Doodle Differences. When you are new you automatically are paired up with a mentor. Whenever you need a suggestion, question, or opinion, you can go to your mentor and he or she will be more than willing to help! I have a dream goal to eventually be a director assistant at one of the centers to help out fellow teachers out even more!

I love watching my students grow and learn every day. I was able to stay with my first group of students from toddler to preschool. It was a joy watching them learn to talk; then learn their colors, shapes, numbers; and eventually letters! Some began reading their name! While working at Doodle Bugs!, you get a huge satisfaction while impacting the lives of these precious little ones.

If I had any advice to give new teachers it would be to always remember why you went into teaching. Keep a symbol in your teacher cabinet to always remind you. During those “bad day” moments (cause we all have them), look at that symbol. It will help you throughout the day. My second piece of advice is if you love something, for example music, bring that into the classroom! Bring in a guitar, keyboard, or small drum set. Let the children learn about you and you can make an even stronger connection with your students.


Doodle Bugs! is hiring! Click here to apply today!

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue #211

October 28, 2014

For this week’s edition of Team Tuesday, we would like to highlight Jillian Murtha, a teacher assistant from our Orchard Park location.IMG_0207

Jillian possesses a genuine love and affection for all children, and is a natural with toddlers. She comes in to work every day with a smile on her face, and a can-do attitude. Center director Sara Utech said that just today, when Jillian came into the building and saw her kiddo’s waiting to enter the indoor gym for Doodle Dance, she instantly dropped down in front of them to give out a bunch of warm hugs!

Jillians is also extremely creative and loves to help the center with their displays during events. Entering her classroom, you also immediately see her artistic touches and creativity.

So thank you, Jillian, for your positivity, loving nature, and dedication to your center and team. Our doodle community is a better place because you CARE!


How to Help Your Child Read Fluently

October 16, 2014

Introducing our guest is a partner of Doodle Bugs! Children’s Centers and offers a way for children to interact with technology while learning foundational skills, experimenting with cause and effect, and collaborating with classmates. All Doodle Bugs! preschool and pre-k classroom teachers use’s learning activities as an extension of play-based classroom activities and the classroom-linked home accounts enable parents to guide their children through the same lessons at home via their home computer, tablet or mobile device.

As our centers prepare for the Read for Record event on October 21st and a nationwide reading of “Bunny Cakes” by Rosemary Wells, it’s a good time to focus on literacy and how to promote it at home. Here’s an excerpt from the phonics webinar by Kimberly Oliver Burnim, 2006 National Teacher of the Year and a Senior Curriculum Advisor at

Parent Question: How do I help my child to read fluently?1932235_10152051475631220_1421804493_n

Answer: To read fluently means to read words expressively and smoothly. Children who are not fluent read choppily and word-for-word. This can affect their comprehension, because they don’t remember what they have read by the time they reach the end of a sentence. Reading fluently is an important skill.

To help your child learn to read fluently, one of the most important things you can do is to regularly read aloud to your child so that you’re modeling the type of reading you want your child to do. For example, if you’re changing your voice for different characters, your child will know that he or she needs to do the same. If a book that you’re reading has text features such as bold print, and you decide to read a bolded word loudly, you’re modeling that they, too, can do that while they’re reading. Another way to develop fluency is to have your child read a book over and over again. Children tend to become fluent readers after reading the same thing many times. They know when to pause, when to speed up, and when to slow down. As they listen to themselves read more and more fluently, this also helps to build their confidence.

To learn more about how can help your child build a stronger educational foundation, please visit our website.

Click to View Kim’s Phonics Webinar


Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue #210

October 14, 2014

For this week’s Team Tuesday, we would like to highlight Miss Kate & Miss Beverly from our Webster location!

They started at the Webster center at the same time and have since then, become a very strong team.

They are so dedicated to Doodle Bugs! and their position, that they spend much of their “unscheduled” time in the center working on and enhancing their classroom environment.

They share responsibilities equally and are more than flexible and willing to help their fellow faculty, and extend a helping hand throughout the center.  They are reliable and always come to work ready to model the 10 Foot Rule!

So thank you, ladies, for the dedication you show everyday, your positive work ethic, and your friendliness within the center. Our doodle community is a better place because you CARE!



Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue #209

October 7, 2014

October 2014 Employee of the MonthHenry

Henry Seege, Administrative Office Cleaner

Henry has been a part of the Doodle Bugs! team since January 2007. His behind-the-scenes attention to detail, conscientious attitude towards costs and quality of products, and positive demeanor demonstrates his loyalty to Doodle Bugs!. He is always willing to lend a helping hand to the home office team and maintenance team and works hard to maintain a clean, organized office environment. That dedication is not unnoticed to home office staff as they enjoy a pleasant working environment.

Henry is often smiling and enjoyable to be around, giving the impression to others he likes being in the office. He makes an effort to ensure the training room is free of debris and garbage, no matter how much there is after a successful team training day! Despite being unseen by so many Doodle Bugs! faculty and team members, Henry plays a huge role in upholding our commitment to quality. His work ethic and positive personality is what makes him so deserving of this recognition. The doodle community is a better place because you CARE!

Thank you, Henry, for being a part of our doodle team!Print

The Fight Against Illness…One Germ at a Time

September 24, 2014

This isn’t Gotham City, but there is a villain lurking about. That villain is germs!

Not only is it cold and flu season, but a fast-spreading virus related to hand-foot-and-mouth disease called enterovirus D68 is hospitalizing kids across the country, including in Buffalo. With children back in school, the spread of germs becomes more prevalent.

Doodle Bugs! takes great pride in the cleanliness of our centers and classrooms—all year round. Toys, equipment, and classrooms are cleaned and sanitized on a routine basis, including tables, door handles, and bathrooms. Proper handwashing is required by regulation and company policy and recommended by the CDC as the single most effective way to reduce the spread of illness. Child-friendly signs are posted by every sink; directors model good behavior by washing hands upon entering a room; and hands are washed prior to eating, after changing diapers, and following sneezing or wiping of a nose.

You can hear more from our East Amherst Director, Kate Bordonaro, here on how Doodle Bugs! is taking a stand against evil germs. superheros

Doodle Bugs! Director of Education and Training, Christina Fecio, offers parents tips how to fight the good fight against illness at home:

  • Follow good handwashing habits at home. It not only prevents the spread of germs, but reinforces what children learn at school.
  • Help teach children to cover their mouth with a tissue when they cough. If no tissue is handy, teach them to cough into the crook of their elbow or upper sleeve instead of their hand.
  • Common disinfectants kill germs, including those of the enterovirus. Take extra steps to wipe down toys at home, door handles, and other frequently touched surfaces.
  • Keep children home if there is suspicion of illness. It’s probably inconvenient for working parents, but prevents others from coming in contact with germs and allows children a time to rest.
  • Healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and eating nutritious foods help keep the immune system strong.

For more tips on helping to teach children good handwashing habits, read our blog post!

Notice of Evaluation for Accreditation

September 24, 2014

Doodle Bugs! Children’s Centers (headquarters in Buffalo, New York) is scheduled to be evaluated for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. An evaluation visit is scheduled for October 14 – 16, 2014.

The Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools will accept comments from those with first-hand information regarding this institution’s ability to meet the Middle States Standards for Accreditation. Such comments will be considered in the course of the evaluation. The Middle States Commissions on Secondary and Elementary Schools’ Standards for Accreditation can be viewed here.

To be considered, comments must be in writing, include the printed name, address, and telephone number of the writer, and must be signed by the writer. Anonymous comments will not be considered.

Comments must be received prior to the first day of the visit and must be mailed to:

President Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools 3624 Market Street, 2 West Philadelphia, PA 19104


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