McCune Family Foundation gives Children First $50,000 grant for scholarships

Youngsters who are 6 weeks to 5 years old will benefit from support, nonprofit leaders say

Photo courtesy of Children First

Having access to a high-quality education in the earliest stages of a child’s development sets them up for a lifetime of success, research has shown.

In light of that knowledge, “[t]he McCune Family Foundation has awarded Children First a $50,000 grant in support of scholarships for Sarasota County’s most economically vulnerable children,” ages 6 weeks to 5 years, Children First has announced.

“Scholarships ensure access to comprehensive services,” including early childhood education, nutrition, and emotional and behavioral support, as well as family strengthening services for parents, a news release points out.

Since 2017, the McCune Family Foundation has granted $230,000 to Children First through support of the agency’s Raise Your Hand Campaign, high-quality services, and family well being, the release adds.

“Children First serves at-risk children and families at 15 locations throughout North Port, Sarasota, and Venice as the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County,” the release explains.

“The need for our services has never been greater as we continue to battle the ongoing effects of the pandemic,” said CEO Philip Tavill in the release. “The McCune Family Foundation’s support allows us to focus on our mission of empowering parents and building a strong foundation for the healthy development of the children we serve,” he added in the release. “Thank you for your investment in accessible, high-quality education and care for our community’s most vulnerable children and families,”

Founded in 1961, Children First is ranked in the top 1% among more than 1,800 Head Start programs nationwide, the release points out. Through Children First, children in low-income homes “receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school” on level with their peers, the release says.

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