Our agency, the Sunshine Community Services Center, started as a dream of our Executive Director, Etta LaFlora, who has been a resident of Kewanee for over 55 years. Etta LaFlora has been serving in the community for many years.

After graduating from Kewanee High School, Etta enrolled at Black Hawk College, while obtaining her office assistant certificate and later AAS in Child Development. She worked in various occupations at the former GTE Telephone Company, Bridgeway Family Services, Kewanee Even Start, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as a Foster Parent, and Literacy Volunteers of Illinois as a tutor for juveniles at the Illinois Youth Center. After starting the agency, Sunshine Community Services Center, Etta continued to pursue her education and graduated from Purdue University Global in October 2022 with a BA degree in Business Administration.

How Sunshine Community Services Center got started: During that time when the opportunity arose to continue the childcare component of an adult literacy program, she chose to make this dream a reality. With the assistance of Mattie Owens in September of 2008 the Sunshine Early Learning Center opened its doors in the Old Franklin School Building at 600 N. Lexington Avenue.

Etta, along with Sue Bubnick, provided a quality childcare program for the GED and ESL parents enrolled in Kewanee Reading Partners / Even Start Programs, which was a project of Black Hawk College from the fall of 2008 - spring of 2009. In the fall of 2009, Parents and Teachers Together, Empowering, Reaching, and Nourishing Students (PATTERNS was launched, a program to help link school with community. This program was for the parents of middle school students.

First major program launched: Step Ladder Tutoring Program: After a summer pilot tutoring program at the Kewanee Public Library, during the week of February 6, 2012, the new Step Ladder Tutoring Program, aimed to advance the potential, academic achievement and school success for all learners, was launched.