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Children First Blog


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Announcing Our 2021 Board of Directors

Children First, Inc., the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services in Sarasota County, is excited to welcome the new slate of board leadership for 2021. Liz Stamoulis, partner at Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen, Linda Monda, community philanthropist with a special focus on education, children, and families, and Joe Stephan, former Vice President for the National Cash [...]
January 12, 2021

Sarasota Magazine: Philip Tavill is Dedicated to Helping Infants, Toddlers and Their Families Through Children First

January 12, 2021 | Kay Kipling Philip Tavill, the longtime president and CEO of Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive Head Start provider, has vivid memories of spending time beside his father, a physician working in public health, in locations from Morocco to Milwaukee. His South African mother’s passionate anti-apartheid stance also helped shape [...]
December 3, 2020

Tampa Bay Newswire: Brigette Davis Appointed to Florida Head Start Association Board of Directors

December 3, 2020 Brigette Davis, Associate Head Start and Early Head Start Director at Children First in Sarasota, has been elected to the Florida Head Start Association (FHSA) Board of Directors. As a FHSA board member, she plays a key role in representing Sarasota County and fulfilling FHSA’s work across the state to deliver high-quality [...]
December 1, 2020

Scene Magazine: Ethna & Ted Wishnie Double Their Legacy Commitment

December 1, 2020 When Ted and Ethna Wishnie of Sarasota walk through the halls of Children First in Sarasota, they are touched by the success stories, the gratitude and the children’s songs. That zest for life reminds them of Eric Wishnie, Ted’s son and Ethna’s stepson, whose death at age 45 came amidst a successful broadcast [...]
November 26, 2020

Tampa Bay Newswire: Community Helps Children First Give Back to Families and Staff

November 26, 2020 | Thanksgiving in Tampa Bay Children First is providing meals to families and staff for the holiday season thanks to the generosity of Sarasota realtor Michele Tanner, her non-profit Tanner’s Turkeys, and an anonymous donor. The agency distributed 60 turkeys and sides to the families it serves as a recipient of ‘Tanner’s Turkey’s [...]
November 15, 2020

Style Magazine: The Giving Trees

November 15, 2020 Meeting Children’s Needs Now for Future Success There’s a Chinese proverb that epitomizes Sarasota’s many and varied children’s nonprofits: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” Some of the area’s youth-centered organizations began working decades ago and have cultivated generations of young Sarasotans into adult [...]
February 1, 2021

SRQ Magazine: Tribute to Business on the Creative Coast

February 1, 2021 In 1961, the Junior League of Sarasota, formerly the Junior Welfare League of Sarasota, founded the Sarasota Day Nursery with a mission to prepare children from low-income families for Kindergarten. Their work changed lives and built a strong foundation, and in 1994 the agency became Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start [...]
January 26, 2021

Herald-Tribune: PGT partners with Children First in honor of agency’s 60th anniversary

January 26, 2021 PGT Innovations, a national leader in the premium windows and doors category, has partnered with Children First, the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, to kick off the agency’s 60th anniversary in a special initiative called “60 for 60.” In honor of Children First’s major milestone, the agency is [...]
January 15, 2021

Scene Magazine: Dr. Melania Kesoglou Invited to Serve on National Head Start Association Foster Care Committee

January 15, 2021 – Sarasota Dr. Melania Kesoglou, Ed.S., Ph.D., and Director of Education at Children First, has been invited to serve on the National Head Start Association’s Region IV Foster Care Challenge (FCC) Committee. In her role, Dr. Kesoglou will help to oversee the FCC’s work in Head Start’s Region IV, the southeastern United [...]
January 13, 2021

CEO Philip Tavill Honored for 25 Years of Service

Philip Tavill, the longtime president and CEO of Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive Head Start provider, has vivid memories of spending time beside his father, a physician working in public health, in locations from Morocco to Milwaukee. His South African mother’s passionate anti-apartheid stance also helped shape his concern for others. “Together, they [...]