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Children First Blog


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Our volunteers are crucial to literacy efforts

Numerous studies assert that children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to every day than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty. Due to a combination of factors related to income disparity, by the time children are 5 years old, the ones in poorer [...]
February 9, 2017

941CEO: Good Deeds (Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Wing Dedication)

SARASOTA– On Feb. 9, Children First, Sarasota County’s provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, dedicated the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Community Wing at its primary campus. Keith and Linda Monda were instrumental in starting the recent Crib Challenge to encourage additional giving for the Raise Your Hand Campaign, [...]
December 14, 2016

Nurturing the whole child – body and brain

At Children First, our work goes well beyond child care: the education and nurturing environment that we provide actually impact the brain development of our children. Our teachers and volunteers, in partnership with parents and caregivers, help our students to gain the cognitive, social and emotional skills they need to succeed in kindergarten, college and [...]
December 5, 2016

We are thankful for our teachers

With Thanksgiving just behind us, we thought this would be a good time to express how thankful we are for our teachers and family support staff. As Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services, Children First asks – requires – more from our teachers than a standard pre-school. Our incredible [...]
November 22, 2016

Flipping and Rockin’ – the 2016 Children First fall events

The 2016 Flip Flops & Fashion and Rockin’ Lobster events were amazing, and we are so grateful for all the support received! These fundraisers allow Children First to provide more support to vulnerable families and children. Did you know that the cost for one child’s schooling is about $10,000 per year? Thanks to our generous [...]
September 16, 2016

SNN Feel Good Friday: Children First Celebrates 55 Years

SARASOTA – Children First in Sarasota is celebrating 55 years of helping young children and families on the Suncoast. The organization is also in the middle of the Raise Your Hand campaign fundraiser. SNN’s Grant Boxleitner talked to Children First CEO Philip Tavill about the program and the fundraiser in this week’s edition of “Feel Good [...]
May 26, 2018

Children First Staff Participate in Health Care Institute

Children First staff recently attended a two-day Health Care Institute (HCI) that was hosted by the UCLA Anderson School of Business and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness.  HCI is designed to assist grantees in improving the health of their staff, families, and children, while strengthening the communities in which they work.  Participation in [...]
May 26, 2018

Nurturing Dads Initiative Graduates 200th Class

Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, celebrated the completion of its 200th award-winning Nurturing Dads class on Thursday, May 10.  Over the past 20 years, the award-winning class has reached just shy of 2,000 fathers. The free 10-week course is modeled after The Nurturing Father’s Program, a [...]
May 26, 2018

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 [...]