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Children First Blog


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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 [...]
April 8, 2019

Observer: Children First Celebrates with Story Books

Co-chairs Matt & Krystel Beall, Stan & Jo Rutstein, Carol & Richard Kalikow, and Lisa & Mitch Olan pose for a photo on the dance floor. (Photo: Kayleigh Omang, Observer Media Group) Children First brought guests back into the tales of their childhood April 6 at Michael’s On East. Fairytale Ball: “The Enchanted Library” celebrated the work Children [...]
April 1, 2019

Scene: Children First and All Angels get Jazzed Up for Literacy

Alyssa Simons, Elaine Smith, Jessica Rogers, and Gail Clay March 27th – Children First was the recipient of support from All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church at their annual fundraiser, Jazzy Nights, on March 20th. Parishioners of the church have gathered over 200 books in both English and Spanish for our children and families as [...]
April 1, 2019

Children First Hosts Lunch and Learn for 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 Philanthropy Jessica Rogers introduced everyone [...]
March 25, 2019

Venice Gondolier: Children First welcomes new board members for 2019

  Children First Inc., the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Sarasota County, has named Howard Berman, former president and chief executive officer of The Lifetime Healthcare Companies Inc., and Keith Johnson, certified financial planner and client adviser of SunTrust Bank, to its board of directors for 2019. Both [...]
September 24, 2020

Philanthropy in Action – Terry & Bob Lewandowski

Terry and Bob Lewandowski are originally from Chicago, Illinois where together they hold a combined four degrees in Psychology, Medical Technology, and Industrial Relations from Loyola University. Terry enjoyed a career as a medical technologist in Chicago-area hospitals until the birth of their first child, upon which time she considers herself blessed to be able [...]
January 13, 2021

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 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 [...]
March 15, 2021

Children First Announces 60th Anniversary Co-Chairs and Committee

Children First, the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, is pleased to announce its 60th Anniversary Co-Chairs and Committee members in recognition of the agency’s historic milestone of six decades of service to the community. The 60th Anniversary Co-Chairs and Committee members are comprised of past and present board [...]