Children First is proud to announce the naming of the agency’s Teacher Resource Room for long-time supporters Katherine and Frank Martucci. In a special ceremony with board members and staff, the couple was recognized for their most recent gift of $150,000, directed by Frank in honor of Katherine’s board leadership and volunteerism.
The Martucci’s philanthropic spirits has them deeply invested within the nonprofit community. Through their support of Children First, the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, the couple have transformed the lives of our area’s most vulnerable young children and families, many of whom live at or below the Federal Poverty Level (just $23,030 for a family of 3).
After starting as a classroom volunteer in 2015, Katherine became further empowered to make a difference in the lives of others by joining the Children First Board of Directors. In 2021, she was elected as Chair of the Board where she displayed trailblazing leadership during a time of extreme duress, and since stepping into the newer role of Chair Emeritus has continued her deep commitment to the agency’s mission alongside Frank.
Throughout the agency’s 60th anniversary, the couple came together with a dedicated group of extraordinary supporters to form Children First’s Diamond Circle, raising over $2.3MM to help ensure equal access to opportunities for all.
“Frank and I have a deep love and respect for the Children First mission. To be recognized as having made positive changes in the lives of those who are in need means the world, but not quite as much as knowing that families are happy and healthy as they reach their goals and find success. As a volunteer, having those kids light up when they see me and run up to give me a hug, knowing their lives are improving—it means more than anything. Having three wonderful children and five equally wonderful grandchildren of our own, I know Frank feels the same.”
“Our teacher resource room was designed to increase the available space for our staff, as well as create an environment of collaboration, networking, and planning that is crucial to the success of our children and families. With nearly one third of our staff members also being Children First parents, those we serve are fully enveloped in our mission, as are those who support them, like Katherine and Frank. Thank you for working with us to envision a community where everyone, regardless of circumstance at birth or in life, can thrive beyond their wildest imagination,” says CEO Philip Tavill.
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 15 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 childrenfirst.net.