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Observer: Children First Celebrates Jo Rutstein

(Longboat Observer- Katie Johns): Jo Rutstein thought she was picking up tablecloths and linens from Children First on March 23.  But her husband, Stan Rutstein, and the staff of Children First had some other ideas as March 23 happened to be her birthday. As Jo Rutstein walked into the room where she thought the linens were awaiting [...]
March 28, 2018

Observer: All Angels walks the runway

  PHOTO CREDIT: Observer Media Group (Katie Johns) L-R: Chairwoman Heidi Thomas, Vice President of Philanthropy for Children First Jessica Rogers and chairwoman Daphne Walker Longboat Observer (Katie Johns)- The ladies of All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church had a pep in their step March 21. On Wednesday afternoon, models from the congregation took to [...]
March 28, 2018

2018 Giving Challenge: Be the One that Believes in Children First!

The Impact of the Giving Challenge In 2016, the Giving Challenge enabled Children First to provide quality early childhood education and family strengthening services to over 600 children and their families. Children were able to learn in a safe space, receive the education and care they needed, and get their bellies filled with healthy [...]
March 12, 2018

ABC7: Sharing Books to Celebrate National Reading Month

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – It was the “big” kids reading to the “little” kids today to celebrate March being National Reading Month. The kindergarten students from Hershorin Schiff Community Day School spent the morning reading to the preschool students at the Helen R. Payne Children First Center. A great way for the budding readers to get [...]
March 5, 2018

Winter 2018 Newsletter

    Check out the recent happening at Children First! Download our Winter 2018 Newsletter
February 27, 2018

(Herald-Tribune) Children First Reopens Helen R. Payne Center

      When the sun finally rose over debris-filled streets the morning after Hurricane Irma hit the Suncoast, the staff at Children First, the nonprofit exclusive Head Start provider in Sarasota County, had more on their minds than their own families and homes.  They worried about the more than 600 children they serve each day. Did [...]
July 15, 2019

Herald-Tribune: Children First Chosen to Lead Literacy Effort

JULY 8 – Children First has been selected for a matching grant through the Reading is Fundamental literacy network for its commitment to lifelong learning. Books for Ownership is RIF’s flagship reading program that enables children to select new, age-appropriate books to take home and is supported by resources for educators, caregivers and volunteers in [...]
July 8, 2019

Scene Magazine: Children First Awarded $5,000 Grant Supporting Women

The Margaret L. Bates Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County awarded Children First a $5,000 grant to support a Career Readiness for Women course through the agency’s Families First Institute. The Institute is a family-focused initiative aimed at strengthening Sarasota County’s most economically vulnerable families. The grant will play a vital role in [...]
June 11, 2019

Giving Circle Supports Local Families

Generation GIV, the inaugural young professional’s giving circle of Children First, presented our award-winning Families First Institute with a check for $5,000 on May 15 at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. The funds will support a ‘Positive Solutions for Families’ class. Launched in 2018, Generation GIV focuses on young professionals who have a desire to change lives [...]
June 6, 2019

West Villages Sun: Happy Hour for Children First Charity

Every first Friday night of the month residents of Gran Paradiso, gather together to enjoy Happy Hour in the activities center at the clubhouse. In February 2019, Dick and Deborah Miller assumed the responsibility of hosting the popular event introducing a “monthly theme” with decorations. The monthly Happy hour event gives new residents an opportunity to meet [...]