The Sarasota Southside Rotary Foundation recently granted $3,777 to Children First to purchase equipment for children at its Helen R. Payne Center. The grant paid for an outdoor sensory water activity table and other playground equipment.
“Children First uses sensory tables for all our children. The water and the sand seem to be a calming factor for children,” said Michelle Bundy, regional manager at Children First. “We are thrilled to add the table and new playground equipment for the learning, exploration, and enjoyment of our students. Many thanks to the Sarasota Southside Rotary Foundation for this generous grant and their support of our organization throughout the year.”
For the past seven years, the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club has held holiday programs with the Payne Center of Children First. In 2010, the newly-formed Rotary Club “adopted” one classroom at the Payne Center, bringing holiday gifts and visiting with the children, reading, playing and helping with crafts. For the past three years, the Rotary Club has adopted the whole school for its holiday outreach program.
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 5 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.