The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, as the Sarasota Grade-Level Reading lead, is committed to supporting early learning opportunities.

Early learning includes the following:

  • Providing quality early learning experiences in childcare facilities, in the home, and within the community
  • Empowering parents to confidently embrace their role as their child’s first teacher
  • Ensuring children’s health and wellbeing

We support organizations that develop and implement early learning opportunities.

Children who arrive at school behind their peers are less likely to achieve academic success. 

As early as 18 months old, many children from families facing a variety of barriers begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other skills critical for school success. By the time these children arrive at school, they are well behind their peers.

When children start school with this significant achievement gap, they are less likely to perform well academically, falling further behind their peers. This gap, if not closed or decreased, can lead to more likelihood of dropping out or not pursuing a fulfilling postsecondary path.

Parents, caregivers, family members, preschool teachers, early-learning programs, medical professionals, and the broader community play a critical role in decreasing this gap. The first five years of a child’s life are a critical time of brain development during which time children are establishing a foundation for future learning.

Collaboration among community members must focus on providing quality early learning for children that provides opportunities to build the neural connections that allow for healthy brain development.

All individuals involved in a child’s life, right from the moment of birth, must work together to increase the child’s chances for academic success.

Investing in Whole Families:
A 2Gen Strategy for Early Learning

Students at Horizons Unlimited Christian Academy (HUCA)
Children, parents, and teachers at Horizons Unlimited Christian Academy
The Community Foundation engaged in a three year, collaborative pilot with Horizons Unlimited Christian Academy that included support for teachers, students, and their parents. This report reveals the positive impact on both the students’ academic performance as well as their parents’ postsecondary success. Click here to read the report. 
Student at Horizons Unlimited Christian Academy (HUCA)
Student finger painting at Horizons Unlimited Christian Academy

Current Programs Supported

Discover more about current programs supported by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in our target attendence zone:

grant opportunities for nonprofits

Grant Opportunities

Through intentional grantmaking, we are committed to boosting the work of our community partners committed to grade-level reading work that aligns with our key solution areas of School Readiness, Summer Learning, and Parent Success.

Get Involed

Kirsten Russell 

Vice President, Community Impact