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Children First Changemaker Collective Raises Over $1.2MM

Children First, Inc., the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, is proud to announce that the Changemaker Collective has raised over $1.2MM in support of its mission.

The Changemaker Collective is an initiative for leaders who go above and beyond in serving our community and wish to make an investment in the tools children and families need to achieve their full potential. All collective support was matched 1:1.

The key philanthropists comprising the Collective include: Anonymous, the Jean Delynn Foundation in honor of Elenor Maxheim, Dawn & Mitchell Epstein, Lisa & John Giglio, Stephanie & Allen Hochfelder, Joan & Dr. Bart Levenson, Keith Monda & Veronica Brady, the Jerome & Mildred Paddock Foundation, Linda Rhault, Gaye & Jack Schwarz, Karen Solem, Joe & Nora Stephan, and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

At multiple sites across Sarasota, Venice, and North Port, Children First provides comprehensive services to hundreds of economically vulnerable children, ages birth to five, and their families each year. Comprehensive services include early childhood education, nutrition, emotional and behavioral support, and family strengthening services.

“The First Five Years Fund reports that 26.8 million people in the workforce – or one out of every six – rely on child care so they can work or go to school. That makes early childhood education one of the most essential services to the health and well-being across our entire nation,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “Thank you to our Collective and all who stepped up to answer the call for our community’s most vulnerable children and families.”

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 multiple 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


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