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Olivia’s Story: Getting a Head Start in Life

As a current Children First parent and as a former Children First student myself, I want to share how this amazing organization has changed my life, and so many other lives in our community. My daughter Maliya is 5 years old and enrolled in the Head Start program at Children First. She is getting ready to [...]
April 18, 2022

A Journey “Into the Woods”

Once upon a time, on April 9 to be exact, more than 300 guests traveled “Into the Woods” for the 22nd annual Fairytale Ball, hosted by Children First at Michael’s on East, which was decorated as a magical forest, filled with dreams and discoveries waiting to be made. The sold-out event was the first in-person gala [...]
March 16, 2022

Children First Recognized as Change Agent in Philanthropy

Children First was one of five human service agencies honored with the 2022 Change Agent Philanthropic Award by SRQ Magazine. The awards were presented at a luncheon held at the Hyatt-Regency Sarasota recently, as part of SRQ’s SB2 symposia series. The award was presented to organizations which have “proven their grit, determination and capacity to [...]
March 3, 2022

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

Not all heroes wear capes, and the philanthropic spirit of our community during the 2020 Giving Challenge helped to save the day for hundreds of at-risk children and families. During this time, our families were suddenly facing a crisis like never before due to the unforeseen circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. At Children First, 89% of [...]
January 14, 2022

Creating a Sustainable Future Through a Cross-Sector Partnership

Solar energy and sustainable practices are setting records across America and the state of Florida as demand for renewable resources continues to grow. As part of an on-going effort in environmental stewardship for Sarasota County, Children First is working to create a more sustainable future through a cross-sector partnership, Partners for Green Places (PGP). Launched in October [...]
October 14, 2021

Children First Exceeds Challenge Match Campaign In Honor of 60th Anniversary

We are proud to announce that The Challenge for Changing Lives has raised over $2.3MM in honor of Children First’s 60th Anniversary! The matching gift challenge was led by the Diamond Circle, a dedicated group of extraordinary supporters leading the charge in advancing the mission of strengthening children and families. Their combined contribution matched, dollar for [...]
November 22, 2016

Flipping and Rockin’ – the 2016 Children First fall events

The 2016 Flip Flops & Fashion and Rockin’ Lobster events were amazing, and we are so grateful for all the support received! These fundraisers allow Children First to provide more support to vulnerable families and children. Did you know that the cost for one child’s schooling is about $10,000 per year? Thanks to our generous [...]
February 27, 2017

Children First wins WEDU ‘Be More’ Award

Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, was awarded the WEDU “Be More Informed” Nielsen Marketing Campaign Award during the 2017 WEDU Be More Awards Luncheon & Ceremony in Tampa on February 23. Children First was recognized for our “Raise Your Hand” campaign. The “Be More Informed” award [...]
October 26, 2017

Jessica Rogers to Join Children First as V.P. of Philanthropy

Transitioning from one distinguished learning institution to another, Jessica Rogers will join Children First on December 6, 2017  as the new Vice President of Philanthropy after spending eleven years working in fundraising at New College of Florida, the state’s designated honors college for the liberal arts and sciences.  As the leader of Children First’s philanthropy [...]
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 [...]