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Children First Blog


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(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 [...]
January 29, 2018

Expanding Mental Health Support Services

One of the goals of Children First’s Raise Your Hand Campaign was to help overcome the behavioral and mental health challenges children and families face by offering on-site professional care.  As a result of the campaign, Children First introduced its first licensed mental health professional to the team in December 2015.  Since then, Dr. Robert [...]
January 22, 2018

Nurturing Dads Class to Reach 2,000th Dad in 20th Year

Children First’s Families First Institute is gearing up for its 200th award-winning Nurturing Dads class this spring.  On the brink of its 20th year of offering the course, it will hit a new milestone on March 1st when it reaches its 2,000th dad.  The free 10-week course is modeled after The Nurturing Father’s Program, a [...]
December 13, 2017

WWSB (abc7): Sarasota Bay Rotary Club brings Cheer to Children this Holiday Season

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – The Sarasota Bay Rotary Club brought seasonal cheer and gifts to the students at Children First, Sarasota County’s  Head Start provider. Many of the children at Children First come from low-income families, and may not be able to receive gifts this season without the generosity of the community. Club members also joined the [...]
November 30, 2017

2017 Flip Flops & Fashion and Rockin’ Lobster Support Children First Mission

10th Annual Flip Flops & Fashion The sun was shining with a perfect breeze as flip-flops hit the sand at the sold-out Flip Flops and Fashion luncheon on November 2nd at Sharky’s on the Pier in Venice.  Supporters shopped local boutiques with a portion of sales benefiting Children First.  Models donned fashions from L. Boutique, [...]
November 9, 2017

Herald Tribune: Putting Children First (10th Annual Flip Flops and Fashion)

SARASOTA (Gayle Guynup- Nov. 3, 2017) — It was a picture-perfect day on the beach for the 10th annual Flip Flops & Fashion event, hosted by and benefiting Children First.  More than 350 guests – most of them brightly clad women – came out for the event, which is held under tent on the crystal white [...]
May 7, 2019

Scene: Children First and SCF Announce Partnership

Children First and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) are proud to announce the formalization of an Early Childhood Education Partnership. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education will complete their final teaching internship in Children First Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms. These students will intern with teachers in early [...]
April 22, 2019

Scene: Children First Hosts Lunch and Learn for the 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 [...]
April 15, 2019

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 [...]