DYSART – Little Knights Learning Centerr (Little Knights) announced at his open house on Wednesday that he had raised nearly $ 850,000 from his $ 1.4 million fundraising campaign “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Dysart” for its new daycare located on the Dysart-Geneseo primary school campus. Thanks to a lease with the Union Community School District, the previous daycare was located in the elementary school and was too big for its space.
Iowa leads the country with 75% of parents of children under 6 working outside the home. These parents are struggling to find safe, accessible and affordable child care, as 42% of child care businesses closed in Iowa in the five years before the pandemic began. According to the Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral, 28% of communities in Iowa do not have daycares.
âWith a desert of child care centers in rural Iowa communities, the new Little Knights Learning Center will provide a continuum of education for our children to learn with their hometown friends from Kindergarten to Grade 12. year, âsaid Tim Glenn, Mayor of the Town of Dysart. . âOn behalf of the Town of Dysart, we are happy to have supported this project from the start, having recognized this need in our community.
The new building will reduce the waiting list for child care by increasing the capacity of Little Knights to 85 children. It will include a full kitchen, five classrooms, a playground, a recreation center and other resources.
Glenn also stressed that the project was a catalyst for economic development in this rural community and said the need to keep young families around.
âInvesting in our smaller residents pays big dividends later,â said Glenn. âThe future of our small town depends on the families who live here. Making a lasting commitment to having a quality daycare center in the city improves the quality of life of our citizens. This paves the way for Dysart to become a place to grow, attract new businesses and retain young families.
Mayor Glenn invited Eric Taylor, campaign volunteer and member of the Farmers Coop Telephone Company (FCTC) board of directors, to take the podium to explain why he and the FCTC are supporting the fundraising campaign.
âLittle Knights not only promotes local economic development but also helps keep young families, who live in town and out on farms, in our community,â Taylor said. âMany cities of similar size in Iowa are losing population to larger cities. The daycare supports registrations in our public schools to keep our elementary and middle school in town. Children are the future of Dysart. Keeping kids in Dysart now will make Dysart grow later. Please join me in investing in the children of today and making a commitment to the success of the Dysart of tomorrow.
Taylor expressed his respect and confidence in the volunteer board of directors of the nonprofit Little Nights, as well as the executive director and the 15 staff members who care for children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old.
âThe Little Knights Learning Center is a great organization and I encourage everyone to join me in making a donation,â Taylor said. âIt’s important that we recognize the hard work that has gone into raising funds for this important project and the campaign leadership team that brings us closer to the goal. “
Taylor introduced Taylor Gingrich, one of four campaign chairs and parent of three who attend the Little Knights Learning Center.
âMy family and our family business are directly affected by having a reliable and affordable child care option here in Dysart,â said Gingrich. âWithout it, the employees, as well as ourselves, would need to leave town to fill this need, which would impact local successes within Dysart. This is why Sarah and I are so passionate about this project and we volunteered to chair the fundraiser. “
Gingrich thanked the board and staff of the Little Knights who were 100% involved in the campaign. He called the volunteers and kids at the daycare at the front of the room to return large numbers of card stock revealing the amount raised to date.
“Special thanks to our campaign leadership team, board of directors, staff and generous donors, including our major donor Farmers Coop Telephone Company, who all gave during the quiet phase of the campaign.” , Gingrich said. âWe wouldn’t have come this far without your help. Thank you.”
Gingrich then called on other businesses and community members to step up and donate to help Little Knights reach their campaign goal.
âThe Little Knights Learning Center is a place for all families,â said Gingrich. âIt offers a continuum of education for the children of our community and a better quality of life for our residents. It stimulates economic development and prevents our city from becoming the next desert of nurseries. We hope you are delighted with the incredible progress that has been made in our fundraising efforts. Please join usâ¦ and make your donation today.
Donations can be made in cash or in securities. Matching donations from an employer can double or even triple the donation. Pledges are encouraged and can be extended for up to three years. Online donations can be made at www.dysartschildren.comr.