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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa  —  Governor Kim Reynolds toured the Bobcat Academy, a joint effort between the privately-run academy and Marshalltown schools.

The facility takes infants through preschool age and stands out due to a very unique decor with numerous creative play areas for kids.

“We really wanted to be a place for the whole family, so we take anywhere from infant to school ages,” said Academy co-director Amber Young. “They can bring the infants at six weeks, and then transition to our preschool classroom.”

The Governor, along with Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, visited the academy to learn how it partners with the Marshalltown School District for a four-year-old preschool.

“You know, when we talk about helping communities grow and thrive, this is a key component. A lot of times it comes down to jobs and housing, but really fundamental things like a daycare and preschool,” said Reynolds. “They have different experiential rooms, and so not only are they having fun but they are learning, and meeting a real need in the community.”

“Kids learn through play, so we wanted to provide a lot of opportunities in our building that allowed them to have experiences in play, whether it’s building play or dress up play or pretend play or musical play,” said Ashley Johnson, co-director of the academy. “Whatever it might be, we wanted to make sure that it had a lot of different kinds of opportunities.”

Governor Reynolds said she planned to tell the story of how Marshalltown is working with a public-private partnership as she travels around the state.