Funds will be used to equip new classroom for infants and toddlers in Newtown
Children First has received a $7,500 grant from the Eluned & Edward Russell Charitable Foundation to equip a new classroom for infants and toddlers at the agency’s Helen R. Payne Center, located on 33rd Street in Sarasota, Children First has announced.
The historic site is one of 13 early learning centers Children First operates in Sarasota County for at-risk children under the age of 5, a news release says.
The grant will be used for the purchase of age-appropriate furnishings, equipment and other educational and developmental resources needed to enhance Children First’s services to children age 3 year and younger living in Sarasota’s Newtown community, the release explains. Such programs are critical given research showing that early assistance with such fundamentals as reading, vocabulary, good nutrition and a nurturing environment “plays an essential role in helping children living in poverty to develop on pace with their peers,” the release adds.
Over 90 percent of the children and families served by Children First live at or below the federal poverty level of $20,160 for a family of three, the release points out.
“Through this grant, the Eluned & Edward Russell Charitable Foundation is helping ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community get a strong foundation on which to learn and grow,” said Philip Tavill, president & CEO of Children First, in the release. “We are deeply grateful to them for their generosity.”
Founded in 1961, Children First is designated as one of the top 10 Head Start programs in the country, the release says.