Florida Center for Early Childhood Education receives $2,000 grant from Wawa Foundation

Funds to support upgrades of sensory and activity equipment for indoor play at Starfish Academy campuses

Voluntary pre-kindergarten students experiment with chemistry at The Florida Center for Early Childhood Education’s Starfish Academy in Sarasota. Contributed photo

Earlier this year, The Florida Center for Early Childhood Education recevied a $2,000 grant from the Wawa Foundation, the nonprofit has announced.

“This funding will bolster an initiative dedicated to revitalizing and modernizing sensory and activity equipment for indoor play at Starfish Academy campuses located in Sarasota and North Port,” a news release points out.

Kimberly Treharne, chief programs officer at The Florida Center, explained in the release that the grant will be allocated within a $50,000 budget “aimed at acquiring new sensory kits and equipment tailored for infants and toddlers.”

She added, “The grant will facilitate enhancements in the classroom and therapy areas across our Sarasota and North Port campuses. The program enables us to replace worn-out, obsolete equipment with cohesive, meticulously designed spaces and sensory tools that foster experiential learning, mental well-being, and wholesome development,” Treharne said in the release.

The grant is pivotal in ensuring that “all children have access to enriching environments for learning and development,” she continued in the release. “Yet, children facing significant challenges often require specialized settings and tools. Investing in early intervention services empowers children to overcome obstacles that might impede their progress. This aligns with our vision of vibrant communities, where no child is left behind due to circumstances beyond their control,” she added.

Florida Center CEO Kristie Skoglund pointed out in the release, “By addressing children’s needs early on, we cultivate a compassionate, inclusive community where everyone can thrive and achieve their utmost potential. We are deeply grateful to the Wawa Foundation for its generous support of this critical initiative.”