By Marianne Mueller

Stacy Fry (Center) was joined by her 3 R’s Learning Material Center crew and friends during a ribbon cutting to commemorate the Grand Opening of a new store on Williams Dr.

Behind the doors of 3 R’s Learning Materials Center in Roscoe are educational opportunities that go beyond textbooks. On Saturday, Nov. 6 the store celebrated with a grand opening and a ribbon cutting.

Owner Stacy Fry’s mother worked in early childhood; teaching in the Rockford School District for 45 years. As a branch-off of her Mothers experience, this unique store started out on Morsay Drive in Rockford in 2005. The store moved to Edgebrook in Rockford and has served the community for a total of 58 years in business under different ownership throughout those years. Fry has owned and operated the business for almost 17 years of its history.

During her family’s tenure, the store has only been owned by two people, both in the same family.

After her Mom passed away in 2017 Fry wanted to carry on her legacy – one that offers assistance to parents in addition to age appropriate toys and activity books. “My Mom also sat on many different committees over the years,” Fry reflects.

When the lease was up at Edgebrook the store opened in Roscoe at 5388 Williams Dr. in 2021. “We are now more centrally located to Rockford, Beloit, and Janesville, and are open to the public,” Fry said.

“After COVID hit things have been really different, “Fry said.

She adds, “I have grandchildren in the local school districts, some who work in the store.”

Fry has the highest respect of all of her employees but one that stands out is Camie. “Camie is the greatest asset to this store, “Fry said. “She is formerly an early education teacher who has also owned a licensed day care business.

On the shelves sits a wide range of unique, quality items such as learning textbooks, workbooks, educational activity books, puzzles, stickers, specialty dice, decorations for teacher’s classrooms, Lummi Pets – toys ranging from light ups to infant toys to stuffed animals – each covering different interests. World globes, carpet markers, art supplies, a select amount of musical instruments, and games nicely add to a nicely filled space. The Loopers line helps to develop hand-eye coordination. These and other specialized toys also work on sensory development. Novelties and gifts in more of an adult line can also be found.

“The items that we have in the store are both educational and engaging; toys and materials that grow with each child; we also touch on middle school grades to high school toys and workbooks,” Fry said.

Services reach new levels as orders can be filled per a phone in order where personal shopping can be done to fill a customer need. Simply call the store, give a budget to work within, and give specifics on what you are looking for. An employee will pick out the items per photos sent via a text message. Customers can accept or refuse until the special order meets what they want. “We personalize these orders,” Fry said.

Just call 815-270-0406 to place an order or to find out more about the store.

As always everything is based on what fits certain age brackets.

A rewards program is based on every $200 in merchandise that is purchased: a customer receives $5 off the next purchase. “This stays in the system for 90 days before it expires, “Fry said.

When you step into the 3 R’s Learning Materials Center there is something for everyone inside the building along with genuinely friendly service. Follow the store on Facebook for sales, new products, upcoming events, and hours. Live story times can also be listened to on Facebook Live.

Coming to the store and bringing early Christmas cheer, 3 R’s is welcoming Santa Claus on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Little ones and young at heart won’t want to miss a chance to tell Santa your Christmas wishes. The first 100 families will receive a free photo with Santa and a toy. Extra photos can also be purchased.

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