Acorn Development donates big to ROCDC

Abigail Sherman

Special to The Red Oak Express

Red Oak Child Development Center is currently moving full steam ahead with a goal of opening in late August or early September.

Many volunteers and community organizations are supporting this goal: moving furniture, installing playground equipment, and in the case of Acorn Development Company, providing funds towards the center’s fundraising goal of $1,000,000.

Founded as a private company in 1976, Acorn Development has a knack for providing essential support for various community projects. One major community project that was completely spearheaded by Acorn Development was the construction of an industrial office building located on old Highway 34 that has continuously been a major asset for Red Oak.

Over the years, board members of Acorn Development have met regularly and are continuously assessing community needs. Quality childcare was often brought up in these meetings and was deemed a vital aspect in building a strong community. After significant discussion and planning and a unanimous vote by the Acorn Development Board, it was decided that their next mission would be to support the effort to create additional quality childcare in Red Oak.

At the same time that Acorn Development began their work, Childcare Resource & Referral was also working to make the community aware of the important need for more childcare spaces in Montgomery County. Kelsey Smith-Walhovd, CCR&R Child Care Consultant, explains, “CCR&R helps collect data every year on all the childcare programs in our region. The data showed, in 2018 and ongoing, that there were less childcare spots per capita in Montgomery County than many of the other counties that we serve. Our work, alongside the Iowa Women’s Foundation, specifically identified Red Oak as being a community that was really hurting.”

Smith-Walhovd has been involved with the creation of the Red Oak Child Development Center since the initial assessment in 2018 and has commended the work being done by community members. “It’s impressive to watch the community collaborate.” Smith-Walhovd went on to say, “In speaking with school administration in Red Oak, the fact that they understand and see the economic advantage of childcare in their community, and its importance to the community for sustainability and growth is impressive.” Smith-Walhovd added that she believes Red Oak’s center could be a model for future child care development in other communities in Iowa.

Acorn Development not only spearheaded the Red Oak Child Development Center project, they also played a significant role in financial support of ROCDC.

Acorn Development has shown their commitment and belief in the project through an initial match donation of $150,000. Vice-Chair Laura Kloewer stated “we are so incredibly grateful to Acorn Development, for not only their financial investment but also their initial push to get this project off the ground and their continued guidance and commitment to making Red Oak a beautiful place to call home.” Current Acorn Development Board members include Scott Allensworth, Dennis Bloom, Roger Carlson, Jeff Soe, and Tim Werges. In regard to the need for the center, Bloom stated, “A local quality daycare partnership with the businesses that are located in Red Oak is of great importance to our community.”





The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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