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Land of Learning Child Care Center celebrates 10th anniversary

Published: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 11:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 11:47 p.m. CDT
(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia.com)
Clara Wirsing, 5, swings a hula hoop around with her arms Friday during the 10th-anniversary celebration of the Land of Learning Child Care Center in Sycamore.
(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia.com)
After counting the candles on the birthday cupcakes, Land of Learning director Chelon Benson (left) celebrates with owner Jami Nguyen at the Land of Learning day care.
Danielle Guerra - dguerra@shawmedia.com Jonny McCann, 4, does the chicken dance during the 10th birthday celebration at the Land of Learning in Sycamore on Friday, August 1, 2014. McCann is the fourth sibling of his family to attend the Land of Learning, his oldest sibling attended during the center's opening year.

SYCAMORE – To mark their 10th year in business, Land of Learning Child Care Center in Sycamore blew out candles on cupcakes while children sang "Happy Birthday."

The day care celebrated its 10-year anniversary Friday with ice cream and cake as well as children's activities. Dozens of toddlers jumped around, danced and sang as an interactive DJ played music.

Land of Learning owner Hung Nguyen carried 3-year-old Owen Ordaz of Cortland on his shoulders as a train of children danced in a circle. While Owen said he did not like the bumpy ride, he did enjoy singing along to Disney's "Frozen" song "Let It Go."

Owen called "Let It Go" his favorite song "because the princess is beautiful," he said.

For Nguyen and his wife, Jami, celebrating the 10-year milestone was gratifying. The couple started the day care business in their home, caring for about five to eight children at a time. In 2004, they built their existing location at 1645 Bethany Road in Sycamore with help from developer John Pappas.

It took three years to design the building, which was the only building in the area at the time it was built, Hung Nguyen said.

"It's wonderful because the communities of DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa and Cortland have totally accepted our business," he said. "Without the support of the community, there's no way we could be where we are."

When Nguyen is not at the day care managing the payroll and making building repairs, he is an accountant at a local manufacturing plant. He said he looks forward to coming to the day care because it brightens his day.

"I get to come here and see the kids just have fun," Nguyen said. "It makes me feel young."

Land of Learning director Chelon Benson said the day care center strives to provide a family atmosphere for the children. While some of the students are actually siblings, others grow to become like siblings since they spend years together.

Land of Learning has six classrooms and seven programs, with 110 students from ages 6 weeks to 12 years old enrolled.

Benson noticed a boy sitting by himself while the party was in full swing, so she called him to her and began dancing with him. Benson has been involved with Land of Learning since it began.

"It's exciting and something to be proud of," she said. "It's a huge accomplishment to think we're part of all these children's lives and their families' lives in a positive way."

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