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Children First Blog


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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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
June 11, 2019

Giving Circle Supports Local Families

Generation GIV, the inaugural young professional’s giving circle of Children First, presented our award-winning Families First Institute with a check for $5,000 on May 15 at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. The funds will support a ‘Positive Solutions for Families’ class. Launched in 2018, Generation GIV focuses on young professionals who have a desire to change lives [...]
July 15, 2019

Early Education Partnership Formed

Sarasota, FL – Children First and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) are proud to announce the formalization of an Early Childhood Education Partnership. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education will complete their final teaching internship in Children First Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms. These students will intern with [...]