BRITT | The Hancock County Learning Center is looking to celebrate.

Sept. 14 marked the one-year anniversary of its opening, and to commemorate the occasion, the learning center is hosting a community supper from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 110 Fifth St. NW in Britt.

“It’ll be like a grand opening even though we’ve been here for a year,” said Amy Trask, Hancock County Learning Center director.

The community supper will feature a free-will donation meal consisting of hot dogs, brats, chips, bars and a drink as well as games, inflatables and entertainment from MOJO Productions. It’ll also provide the community the opportunity to visit the building and see the changes that have been made to the former Iowa Department of Transportation building to accommodate child care with infant, toddler, preschool and school-age classrooms.

“It was honestly a Morton building with no walls, and we revamped the whole thing,” she said.

Last year, Trask, a former West Hancock preschool teacher and in-home day care provider, decided to open a child care center with the help of the Britt Industrial Development Corp., or BIDCO, and other community members.

“The need just presented itself,” she said, noting a waiting list at her in-home day care prior to the center’s opening.

The center was slated to open in August 2016, but Trask had two strokes that month. She said thanks to the community, which “stepped up” while she was in the hospital, the learning center was able to open on Sept. 14, 2016.

“It was really a community effort,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without the community.”

The learning center, which currently enrolls 72 children and has seven full-time and 10 part-time care providers, provides child care to children between 6 weeks to 12 years old. Trask said it also offers preschool activities starting at age 2 as well as before- and after-school programs and a summer program with field trips throughout the area.

“I’ve had a lot people say this belongs in a larger community because it’s not something that you typically find in the small communities,” she said.

The center, which was recently approved as a 501(c)(3), is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide child care for working families.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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