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Tom Hanks’ childhood daycare center celebrates 70 years of quality learning in Reno



TomHanks1This weekend the oldest nationally accredited early learning center in Reno is celebrating 70 years of high quality education in the Northern Nevada community. The daycare facility is one of the nine programs of Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada and offers high quality learning to children ages eight weeks through kindergarten prep.

The 70th anniversary celebration will be held this Saturday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 440 Reno Ave. near Arlington Avenue. The family barbecue and celebration will include a carnival, silent auction and lunch as well as a photo display that will look back on seven decades of Holy Child history.

Holy Child Early Learning Center was formerly known as Holy Child Day Home and was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family in 1943. Aside from three major renovations and two expansions, the brick schoolhouse remains largely the same. While the center used to be an orphanage where children would stay overnight, it is now strictly a daycare facility.

The most famous of Holy Child’s alumni is actor Tom Hanks, who stayed at the home in the 1960s. Other local community members and leaders of the Catholic Community also attended the school as children. Holy Child Director Rebecca Vizina wasn’t yet two years old when she herself was a student at the center.

“I don’t remember much because I was so young, but my brother remembers being safety pinned to the nun’s dress as a punishment for sitting on a heater vent,” says Vizina with a laugh.

Deacon Dave Norman from Our Lady of the Snows also attended Holy Child when he was about five years old, and his youngest daughter was a student there for eight years. “My biggest memory is when we had a little orchestra band there and we were all in it. I remember I got to sit right up front and play the drums. For years, my mother had a picture of me with those drums,” he says. “I’m surprised I can remember that far back.”

About Catholic Charities

Established in 1941, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (CCNN) is a Nevada-based, 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit corporation operating nine human service programs including  St. Vincent’s Dining Room, St. Vincent’s Food Pantry, St. Vincent’s Emergency Assistance Program, St. Vincent’s Residence, St. Vincent’s Thrift Shop, Holy Child Early Learning Center, Immigration Assistance Program, Adoption Program and the Kids to Seniors Korner Program. CCNN is committed to providing help and creating hope in our community. From infants to seniors, CCNN assists approximately 40,000 people per month in the northern Nevada community.

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