March 2021 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

Happy March!

This month, we are proud to announce
The Challenge for Changing Lives, a $1MM plus
matching campaign in honor of our 60th anniversary,
led by our Diamond Circle.

Read on to learn more about ways you can join The Challenge, how to register for our virtual Fairytale Ball silent auction, get involved with our #60for60 partner initiative, and more.

Thank you for your commitment to Children First
as we soar to new heights in 2021 and beyond!
The Challenge for Changing Lives
A $1MM plus Matching Campaign
Children First is proud to announce
The Challenge for Changing Lives: $1,060,000 matching gift challenge led by Children First's
60th Anniversary Diamond Circle members.
Their goal is to inspire the community to join them in giving by matching all gifts, dollar for dollar, up to $1,060,000, throughout 2021.

Right now, the need for Children First’s
services has never been greater.

The ongoing pandemic has deeply affected the families we serve. While many of our children have funding to be with us this summer, there are 103 children who still need your support to receive services. Your gift will go twice as far in helping children and families this summer.

Join The Challenge for Changing Lives by making a gift today. You will be changing the lives of the children and families who need us the most - now and into the future.
Celebrating 60 Years:
Fairytale Ball: The Sparkle Within
Join us on Saturday, April 10th for our virtual Fairytale Ball: The Sparkle Within, where we will be celebrating 
Children First's Diamond Anniversary!

Even though this year's event will be virtual, you will be venturing into the unknown alongside us, where there will be fun, magic, and even a few surprises!

Together, we can help families continue on their path
to a bright, sparkling future.

To view the event, you must have a ticket or sponsorship.
To purchase tickets or secure your sponsorship, please
 click here. You can also contact us via email or by calling
941-953-3877 Ext. 1126.

Click here to register and preview our fabulous silent auction offerings! Bidding begins Wednesday, April 7 at 5:00PM and ends Saturday, April 10 at 9:00PM.
Special Thanks to Our
60th Anniversary Co-Chairs & Committee!
Our gratitude is extended to our 60th Anniversary Co-Chairs and Committee for their year-long commitment to Children First as we celebrate our Diamond Anniversary.

Committee members are serving as agency ambassadors in elevating the visibility of and engagement with the Children First mission including raising critical funds in support of comprehensive services for pregnant women, children
and families living at-risk.
60th Anniversary Co-Chairs
60th Anniversary Committee
#60for60: Partner Initiative
LECOM School of Dental Medicine,
Wells Fargo, Pajama Program
February was Dental Health Month and last month
we celebrated at all 15 of our sites!

Thanks to our partners at the LECOM School of Dental Medicine, three awesome virtual presentations were hosted for parents and each classroom had a unique and fun activity!

"None of this would have been possible without our incredible community partners at LECOM, the amazing family services and program staff, as well as the phenomenal children we serve who truly enjoyed every activity! I am grateful to have celebrated so many of these moments and watch our children learn
all about the importance of oral health."
-Champaigne Spivey, MPH, CPH
Health and Nutrition Services Manager
Thank you to our friends at Wells Fargo for celebrating our historic 60th anniversary as a #60for60 supporter with your recent donation of books for our children!

Wells Fargo employees have a history of volunteering with Children First, from bilingual reading engagements in our classrooms, to participating in community-wide initiatives like the United Way Suncoast Day of Caring, to support of our comprehensive programs and more.
The Pajama Program - Florida Chapter has provided more than 265 sets of pajamas and countless books to our children and families since 2015. Thank you for your recent donation of pajamas to promote cozy bedtime routines!

Thank you to all of our #60for60 partners
for your continued support!
NCJW is continuing their campaign to build home libraries for our children, ages birth to 5, in support of our Family Literacy Program.

If you would like to contribute to this effort by donating books to our children, please click here!
Trauma-Informed Training & Bike Safety Week
Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) Arianne Kopacz was invited to participate in an 18-month training cohort focusing on
Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) with funding provided by
Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.
CPP is a trauma-informed therapy approach that repairs relationships between parents and young children.
"CPP has unique features that set it apart from other therapeutic interventions that I now use regularly in my practice with families. Children seek to make meaning of their world and see everything through the eyes of their parents.

We can help children to essentially "re-write" a negative experience by helping them understand that the root or cause of the trauma is not their fault, and that they will be kept safe. CPP provides relationship-based, trauma-informed tools to facilitate this with parents and children and
I've seen great success in my work so far."
-Arianne Kopacz, M.A., LMHC
Lisa Indovino from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Children First Family Advocate and Safe Kids Florida Suncoast Coalition (SKFSC) board member Lori Davis held a training with Children First staff, where they earned official certifications to provide proper helmet fittings for each child, funded by FDOT's Bike Helmet Program.

Led by All Children’s Hospital, the SKFSC works to review childhood injury data to develop strategies that combat specific childhood injuries.

Thank you Lisa, Lori, FDOT, our Family Advocates, and all
who work hard to keep our children safe each day!
Celebrating Earth Day
Our Staff Wellness Committee has extended our
"Random Acts of Kindness" initiative with its latest video celebrating the power of Earth Day.

Hear from Regional Manager Sharon Haynes about ways you can give back to our mission, community, and even the planet!
Going Platinum
In demonstration of our complete commitment to nonprofit transparency, we are proud to share that Children First has received the 2021 Platinum Seal of Transparency from, the world's largest resource for nonprofit information, helping to inform charitable decisions.
1723 N. Orange Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34234
Phone: (941) 953-3877

Our Mission:
To strengthen children and families
by improving the quality of their lives
through a comprehensive approach to
development, education, health, and well-being.

Our Vision:
Children First envisions a vibrant community that cherishes education, provides opportunities for children and families to grow and thrive, and encourages and empowers families in supporting their children.

Children First is Sarasota County's exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services.