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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 [...]
November 12, 2019

Scene Magazine: Children First Awarded $20,000 from Wilson-Wood Foundation

November 12th, 2019 – Children First recently received a $20,000 grant from the Wilson-Wood Foundation to support Comprehensive Services for children and families living at-risk in Sarasota County. Comprehensive Services include early childhood education, nutrition, healthcare screenings, emotional and behavioral support, and family strengthening services for parents. An important part of the agency’s Comprehensive Services for [...]
November 6, 2019

SRQ Magazine: Children First receives $1.2 million grant from Barancik Foundation

November 6th, 2019 – 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 [...]
May 6, 2020

The Nurturing Father’s Podcast: An Interview with Jack Baker

 May 6, 2020 Mark and Corey talk with Jack Baker,  Families First Institute Manager at Children First, about his career and passion for early childhood development and how it led to his involvement in The Nurturing Father’s Program. They also discuss some important things to consider as a father while spending more time at home [...]
April 18, 2020

Children First Named 2020 Best Children’s Nonprofit

April 1, 2020 Thank you to all who voted for Children First in SRQ Magazine’s ‘Best of SRQ Local’ 2020 competition! Our agency was chosen as the Platinum winner in the ‘Best Children’s Nonprofit‘ category and as a Bronze winner in the ‘Best Nonprofit‘ category. Children First also received a second platinum designation this month with the [...]
April 13, 2020

Herald-Tribune: Census 2020 – Critical component for Head Start funding

April 13, 2020 | by Philip Tavill Children First, the Head Start grantee for Sarasota County, believes it is vitally important that the 2020 Census is as accurate as possible. Our mission is serving our community’s most economically vulnerable families with very young children, from pregnancy through age 5. We provide high-quality, early-childhood and development-programs [...]
March 10, 2020

The Impact of the 2018 Giving Challenge

In 2018, the Giving Challenge enabled Children First to provide the highest quality early childhood education and family strengthening services to more than 700 children and their families. Our children were able to grow and dream in a safe space, receive the education and care they needed to thrive, and get their tummies filled with [...]