View Release on Sen. Ernst's Website HERE.

RED OAK, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee, today announced her Small Business of the Week: Crayons 2 Pencils of Warren County. Throughout this Congress, Ranking Member Ernst plans to recognize a small business in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties. 

“Today marks the first day of National Veterans Small Business Week, so it’s fitting that our Small Business of the Week is owned by a family dedicated to serving our country,” said Ranking Member Ernst. “The Larsen family knows what it means to help others, whether that’s in the military or giving back to their community by providing essential childcare services. I’m looking forward to watching Crayons 2 Pencils’ continued success in central Iowa.”


Owned and operated by husband and wife duo Matt and Jill Larsen, Crayons 2 Pencils includes an early learning center and recreation center that provide childcare services to the Warren County community. Jill started her work in early childhood education in 2008 by teaching 13 children out of her home. After partnering with her friend Cindy Gavin on curriculum, the two women opened the Crayons 2 Pencils Early Childhood Center in 2016. Seven years later, Crayons 2 Pencils provides care to over 280 children and has opened a recreation center as a second location. Matt joined the staff full-time in 2020 in a jack-of-all-trades role. Matt has served in the Iowa Air National Guard for 18 years and was deployed to Iraq. The couple’s son, Jayden, also serves in the Iowa Air National Guard. The Larsens also ensure Crayons 2 Pencils gives back to the community by being an active member of the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce and teaching courses on childcare to other daycare directors and employees.

Stay tuned as Ranking Member Ernst recognizes more Iowa small businesses across the state with her Small Business of the Week award.