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SRQ Magazine: Women Who Roar – Jessica Rogers, VP of Philanthropy

June 2020 | Lisl Liang Jessica Rogers believes access to opportunity for all is the base for building a strong community. This belief has transformed her passion for helping women, children, and families into a dynamic professional career focused on the well-being of humankind. As a mother, she raises her daughter the way that her own [...]
May 21, 2020

Tampa Bay Newswire: Community Members Bring Meals to Families

May 21, 2021 | Tampa As part of the agency’s efforts to address continued food insecurity amongst its families, local members of the community teamed up with Paradise Grill restaurant in Nokomis to bring chef-prepared meals to each of the children and families who attend Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start and [...]
May 13, 2020

Scene Magazine: Local Community Keeps Children First Working on Front Lines and Serving Families

May 13, 2020 | By Scene Children First announced that 330 members of our community came together to raise $85,010 during the 2020 Giving Challenge, hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. All giving is inclusive of a 1:1 match provided by the Patterson Foundation, and a $30,000 ‘match on top of the match’ [...]
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 [...]
February 27, 2018

(Herald-Tribune) Children First Reopens Helen R. Payne Center

      When the sun finally rose over debris-filled streets the morning after Hurricane Irma hit the Suncoast, the staff at Children First, the nonprofit exclusive Head Start provider in Sarasota County, had more on their minds than their own families and homes.  They worried about the more than 600 children they serve each day. Did [...]
March 12, 2018

ABC7: Sharing Books to Celebrate National Reading Month

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – It was the “big” kids reading to the “little” kids today to celebrate March being National Reading Month. The kindergarten students from Hershorin Schiff Community Day School spent the morning reading to the preschool students at the Helen R. Payne Children First Center. A great way for the budding readers to get [...]
March 28, 2018

Observer: All Angels walks the runway

  PHOTO CREDIT: Observer Media Group (Katie Johns) L-R: Chairwoman Heidi Thomas, Vice President of Philanthropy for Children First Jessica Rogers and chairwoman Daphne Walker Longboat Observer (Katie Johns)- The ladies of All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church had a pep in their step March 21. On Wednesday afternoon, models from the congregation took to [...]
May 26, 2018

Observer: Children First Celebrates Jo Rutstein

(Longboat Observer- Katie Johns): Jo Rutstein thought she was picking up tablecloths and linens from Children First on March 23.  But her husband, Stan Rutstein, and the staff of Children First had some other ideas as March 23 happened to be her birthday. As Jo Rutstein walked into the room where she thought the linens were awaiting [...]