Early childhood learning center in West Branch, Iowa receives a $5,000 grant

School children An early childhood learning center in West Branch, Iowa, will be a safer, more secure place for students and staff once the renovation work made possible through a Community Foundation of Cedar County grant is finished later this summer. “This is a pretty special thing for us,” said Lisa Moore, director of the West Branch Community Early Learning Center.

The center was awarded a $5,000 grant for its Moving Forward in 2017 Program from the Cedar County Community Foundation, which is a Geographic Affiliate Fund of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend. The project includes a security upgrade as well as adding internet and phone lines to every classroom. The current intercom system doesn’t work well. “Right now, if I want to use the intercom and speak to one class, it is heard throughout the entire building,” she said.

More importantly, is the security upgrade. When staff members are in the office and visitors come into the foyer, the visitors can’t be seen. To make the building more secure, the keypad will be moved and a window will be put in to the foyer so staff members can see who is wanting access to the building.

“When parents come tour, security is one of the first things they ask about,” she said. “Now, when someone opens that first door into our foyer, they are in the building. We’ve been wanting to change that for a long time.”

Working with the Community Foundation of Cedar County has been a great experience, she said. “The grant was very important and we couldn’t have done it without them,” she said. “They made it extremely easy. I’ve been very happy. To have that resource is great.”

The center has between 55 and 65 kids in attendance at a given time. They also operate a Kids Club program at local schools and an additional summer program. “We’re just a small-town daycare and we’re here for our families,” Moore said. “But it is important part of our community.”

For more information about the center, visit http://www.westbranchearlylearningcenter.com/

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