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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 [...]
March 25, 2020

WEDU 2020 Awards- Be More Involved Winner

Children First volunteer Tom Cook was presented with the Be More Involved Mason Dixon Award for Volunteerism at the 15th annual WEDU Public Media Be More Awards. A steadfast supporter, Mr. Cook became a finalist in the volunteerism category after receiving an outpouring of online votes and was selected as the ultimate winner by Mason [...]
March 18, 2020

Our Commitment to You During COVID-19 and Beyond

A Message from CEO Philip Tavill: As an agency dedicated to strengthening those most vulnerable within our community, we are reaching out to you, the members of our Children First family, directly: the children and families we serve, staff members, volunteers, supporters, and partners. Our highest priority is to ensure the health and well-being of the [...]
March 10, 2020

The Impact of the 2018 Giving Challenge

In 2018, the Giving Challenge enabled Children First to provide the highest quality early childhood education and family strengthening services to more than 700 children and their families. Our children were able to grow and dream in a safe space, receive the education and care they needed to thrive, and get their tummies filled with [...]
March 2, 2020

Children First Volunteer Celebrated for Long-time Service

Children First volunteer Tom Cook was presented with the Be More Involved Mason Dixon Award for Volunteerism at the 15th annual WEDU Public Media Be More Awards. Children First was also recognized as a finalist in three other categories, including the Be More Brilliant, Be More Relevant, and Be More Unstoppable 2020 Nonprofit of [...]
February 26, 2020

Fox 13 Tampa: What’s Right With Tampa Bay?

February 26, 2020 – by Kelly Ring Sarasota senior uses love and kindness to enhance the lives of infants SARASOTA, Fla. – For Joanna Tsoukos, there is nothing like a loving touch. She comforts babies at the Families First Institute in Sarasota. It’s an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families. Tsoukos is 85 years old [...]
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 the [...]
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 [...]