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Children First Blog


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Herald-Tribune: Fairytale Ball

More than 330 supporters helped to create happily ever afters for the most at-risk youth in our community at Children First’s Fairytale Ball: the Enchanted Library. The evening focused on the organization’s mission to strengthen children and families, and provided many opportunities to support the nationally award-winning Head Start programming through live and silent auctions. [...]
April 10, 2019

The 2019 Fairytale Ball

As colorful as the ballroom was, nothing compared to the shades of love that filled it at the Fairytale Ball on April 6. Thank you for sharing this enchanted evening with us. Because of your support, children in our program will have access to the highest quality early education, their families will have the opportunity to continue their education or work, and many [...]
April 8, 2019

Observer: Children First Celebrates with Story Books

Co-chairs Matt & Krystel Beall, Stan & Jo Rutstein, Carol & Richard Kalikow, and Lisa & Mitch Olan pose for a photo on the dance floor. (Photo: Kayleigh Omang, Observer Media Group) Children First brought guests back into the tales of their childhood April 6 at Michael’s On East. Fairytale Ball: “The Enchanted Library” celebrated the work Children [...]
April 1, 2019

Scene: Children First and All Angels get Jazzed Up for Literacy

Alyssa Simons, Elaine Smith, Jessica Rogers, and Gail Clay March 27th – Children First was the recipient of support from All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church at their annual fundraiser, Jazzy Nights, on March 20th. Parishioners of the church have gathered over 200 books in both English and Spanish for our children and families as [...]
April 1, 2019

Children First Hosts Lunch and Learn for NCJW

On March 27th, a group from the Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women attended a “Lunch & Learn” at Children First’s Marieb Early Learning Center. NCJW member and Children First Forever Ambassador Norma Cohen welcomed the group and spoke from her heart about why Children First is important to her. Vice President of Philanthropy Jessica Rogers introduced everyone [...]
March 25, 2019

Venice Gondolier: Children First welcomes new board members for 2019

  Children First Inc., the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Sarasota County, has named Howard Berman, former president and chief executive officer of The Lifetime Healthcare Companies Inc., and Keith Johnson, certified financial planner and client adviser of SunTrust Bank, to its board of directors for 2019. Both [...]
December 30, 2019

Guest Editorial: Sarasota County’s children need you for a friend

By Reverend Brock Leach – Director, Children First Board, Chair Emeritus 2013-2015 In a world of big, future-threatening problems, how should we invest what poet Mary Oliver calls “this one wild and precious life”? I want to make the case for kids. As a minister who works to strengthen communities, I’ve become convinced that what fundamentally ails [...]
November 30, 2019

Venice Gondolier: Giving Tuesday

November 30th, 2019 – Feel like consumerism is overwhelming the holiday season? Beat it back by giving. Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, Giving Tuesday came about as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season — particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s one way to make sure [...]
November 22, 2019

Children First Receives a $1.25M Grant to Amplify Family Strengthening Services

Dropping your child off at a safe and reliable preschool should ease nerves for most parents, but for many, the challenges of the day are just beginning. Financial trouble, food instability, reliable employment, and access to education are struggles many families in our community face. That’s why Children First has to be so much more [...]
November 20, 2019

Chronicle of Philanthropy: Salesforce Pledges $17 Million, and Carnegie Mellon U. Gets $35 Million

November 20th, 2019 – Here are notable new grant awards compiled by the Chronicle: Lord Corporation $1.04 billion to the Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Southern California. The manufacturing company in Cary, N.C., was recently purchased by Parker-Hannifin for $3.675 billion. Thomas Lord, who ran his family-owned business until his [...]