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Local Foundations Support Children and Families in Need

19 Dec 2019 9:29 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

The Harry Sudakoff Foundation has recently awarded $20,000 in support of scholarships to Children First, the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services in Sarasota County.

The agency also received $15,000 from the Bernard & Mildred Doyle Charitable Trust, $10,000 from the Evalyn Sadlier Jones Foundation, and $750 from the India Benton Lesser Foundation for scholarships, while $1,000 from the Heron Creek Community Foundation will help to fund a variety of classes through the Families First Institute in North Port.

Scholarships ensure that children living at-risk have access to high-quality early childhood education during the first five years of their lives, a critical stage where thousands of neural connections in the brain are being formed every second. Access to early childhood care and education is also important for the success of our parents. By providing scholarships for full-day care and education, parents have the opportunity to strengthen their finances and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency.

The funding for the Families First Institute will help to strengthen our most vulnerable families by offering a variety of classes and workshops that focus on parenting strategies, career readiness, and more.

“Children First is deeply grateful to be recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life for all in Sarasota County. The incredible support from these local foundations will empower our families by helping the children receive the early education they deserve, and their parents the resources to become self-sufficient. Investment in early childhood education improves outcomes, not just for children and families, but also for the education, health, and economic prosperity of an entire community. We could not be more appreciative for these foundations who have invested not only in our families, but in the future of this amazing community we live in,” says President & CEO Philip Tavill.

About Children First:

Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 |

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