• SunTrust Foundation grant provides budgeting classes for Children First families

    Megan Wenger (left) and Carol Butera of Children First with Keith Johnson, client advisor with SunTrust Private Wealth Management

    SARASOTA, FL – SunTrust Foundation recently granted $9,600 to Children First for two Calendar-Based Budgeting classes. This is the third year SunTrust has supported these classes and Children First’s Families First Institute, which offers free classes for parents and caretakers.

    Calendar-Based Budgeting is a comprehensive and real-life approach to budgeting for families. This class helps participants to improve their money-management skills and reduce stress in their lives by becoming more confident with budgeting.

    The Families First Institute provides classes, training, and support to families of the children served by Children First, as well as families in the community. The goal of the program is to help caretakers to achieve self-sufficiency and to make a better life for themselves and their families. Some of the course offerings include Nurturing Dads, Career Readiness for Women, Kinship Care Support Groups, English as a Second Language, and Boot Camp for New Dads. Classes, some of which are available in Spanish, vary in duration from five to 10 weeks.

    “Equally important to the early education we provide to the children enrolled here are the services provided to families to enable them to make productive lifestyle choices so that they will be positive role models for their children,” said Children First president and CEO Philip Tavill. “We offer training, classes, and other assistance to strengthen families and help them on their way toward self-sufficiency. We are grateful to the SunTrust Foundation for its support of the budgeting classes and our Families First Institute.”

    Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, serves more than 600 of Sarasota’s most vulnerable children, birth to 5 years of age, and their families at 13 area locations. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.

    About Children First
    Founded in 1961 and designated as one of the top 10 Head Start programs in the country, out of 1,800 similar programs 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 13 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, as well as 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 childrenfirst.net.