The Florida Center for Early Childhood Launches LEAP Ahead Campaign

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Children at The Florida Center for Early Childhood enjoy a butterfly encounter in the sensory garden. Photo courtesy of The Florida Center.

The Florida Center for Early Childhood has launched a new campaign, “LEAP” (Learning through Exploration, Activity, and Play), aimed at raising $500,000 to provide crucial support to young children and their families. The organization hopes to immediately utilize any funding received through the campaign which has a targeted completion date of June 1, 2024.

The LEAP campaign will directly benefit young children and their families who receive early care, education and supportive services at The Florida Center’s Sarasota and North Port campuses. The campaign will allow for implementation of an early learning environment inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Through this initiative children will benefit from a setting thoughtfully designed to be open and inviting. Both the indoor and outdoor spaces will include a variety of natural materials and play equipment that promotes exploration and creativity. This unique environment is helpful for all children, especially those with developmental delays and disabilities who can be easily overwhelmed. The approach also encourages strong partnerships between teachers and parents, recognizing the importance of a collaborative and supportive network for children’s learning and development.

"Children truly thrive in a setting that provides a variety of ways for them to meet their unique potential." says Becky Schoonover, Director of Early Childhood Education at The Florida Center. "I've seen the impact that Reggio Emilia-inspired learning environments have on children, teachers and parents. Children go from feeling overloaded, to feeling secure and engaged in their learning environment in ways that are meaningful to them. Teachers feel excited to creatively work with students, and parents feel a sense of connection and community.”

Research has shown that for every $1 invested in high-quality early childhood programs, there is a return of $4-$16 to the community. This campaign will provide the setting necessary for children and families to LEAP ahead, overcome their challenges, and thrive and to kick off the campaign on a high note, an anonymous donor has pledged to match donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $50,000. This incredible gesture will double the impact of contributions made toward achieving the campaign’s ambitious fundraising goal.

“We are thrilled to launch the LEAP campaign, which will enable us to provide even more comprehensive support to young children and their families,” said CEO Kristie Skoglund. “By investing in early childhood education and interventions, we can make a significant difference in the lives of young children facing delays, disabilities, or mental health challenges.”

The Florida Center invites individuals, organizations, and businesses to support the LEAP campaign and positively impact the lives of children and families in the community. Every donation, no matter the size, will help create a brighter future for vulnerable children.

 

Pictured: Children at The Florida Center for Early Childhood enjoy a butterfly encounter in the sensory garden. Photo courtesy of The Florida Center.

To make a donation or learn more about the LEAP campaign, please visit

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