3004 NW 18th Street, Ankeny, Ia


Rhoda & John Harris, Owners/Director

My Learning Safari, LLC

   John and I have three grown children; Tania, Tarah, and Tyler and a very cute but feisty  Maltese dog named Honey. We are also proud grandparents!

   This child development center has been a dream of mine since my children were very small but at that time I did not have the knowledge or experience to begin a quality child development center. The name of the center was the name I had thought of twenty five years ago! There are no words to describe my excitement in finally seeing this dream become a reality and I can think of nothing more wonderful than to spend my days around small children. 

   I hold a B.S. and M.A. in Elementary Education from The University of Iowa as well as an M.S.E. in Educational Leadership from Drake University. My experiences include 10 years as a first grade classroom teacher and seven years as an elementary principal. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with children ages preschool through sixth grade and have an understanding of the skills children must develop in order to embrace 21st century learning including critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

   The expectations for school readiness have changed and children are expected to enter school with a solid preschool experience ready to move forward in learning the essential skills in kindergarten and we play a pivotal role in helping children in their readiness to begin school prepared to succeed. My Learning Safari ​will embrace play but will also be aware of developmental levels and integration of necessary skills through play and socialization as well as direct instruction. I believe this learning philosophy as well as the guidance of a team of competent professionals, will guide the center toward excellence for families in the Ankeny area.