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 | 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
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
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 | 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
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 [...]
Thank you CBS Tampa Bay for helping spread the word about two important grants we recently received that provide mental health and child safety support to our agency. We are grateful to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for this incredible support of our children, families, staff, and mission. ... See MoreSee Less
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has provided Children First with a $30,000 Equity and Access Grant supporting access to mental health care for Sarasota County’s most vulnerable young chi...
The #StaffSpotlight is on Jane Shaw, Early Learning Inclusion Coordinator as she shares her thoughts about working at Children First!In her role, Jane works with children and families to ensure every child receives the services they need and assists classroom teachers with a child’s accommodations or modifications for learning success. She is truly a ray of sunshine and always has a smile to spare! ... See MoreSee Less
At Children First, there are many things we are thankful for: our children and families we serve, our committed staff, dedicated volunteers, and amazing supporters just like you, who make our mission possible each day. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! ... See MoreSee Less
Our #StaffSpotlight is on Bonnie Eskell, Early Learning Inclusion Coordinator!Bonnie worked previously as an Early Childhood Development Specialist, helping to run daily operations at 4 Children First locations. She recently earned her M.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from Capella University and joined our Comprehensive Services Team as an Inclusion Coordinator, where she works to support children and families in receiving the individualized services needed for success, both in school and in life. ... See MoreSee Less
Our #StaffSpotlight is on Miss Connie Vermette, lead teacher in the Red Crayon Classroom at our Dr. Marieb Early Learning Center!Miss Connie has been with Children First for nearly 18 years and can always be counted on for a smile or helping hand. She is known for her positive, can-do attitude and can be found creating incredible memories with children both in the classroom and on the playground. ... See MoreSee Less
Summer often means activities like beach vacations and water slides. For some children, however, summer brings a kind of slide that poses a threat, rather than an adventure. The “Summer Slide,” also known as “Summer Learning Loss,” is the result of less class time, access to fewer books, and reduced opportunity for social skill [...]
Sarasota, FL (June 29, 2017) – As they climb on new playground equipment, at-risk toddlers at Children First probably don’t know they’re building important developmental skills. Meanwhile, thousands of race fans and spectators may not realize that as they attend festivals and enjoy powerboat races off the shore of Lido Key, they are helping those [...]
Exploring New Classrooms and Meeting Teachers
On Tuesday, August 8, Children FIrst welcomed our families to meet their teachers and explore their new classrooms! It was wonderful seeing the excitement on their faces as our children ran into their new classrooms. We are so appreciative of our dedicated volunteers who helped make the event possible. [...]