THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD AWARDED $10,000 GRANT FROM THE WILSON-WOOD FOUNDATION
Nov. 13 2017 (Sarasota, FL) The Florida Center for Early Childhood, a local nonprofit serving at-risk children and their families in Sarasota, Charlotte, Manatee and DeSoto/Hardee counties, was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Wilson-Wood Foundation.
The grant will be used to strengthen social-emotional education within the Starfish Academy, The Florida Center’s early education program, by implementing small social skills groups and providing parent-teacher support.
“Many of the children in our program have already been suspended or expelled from at least one preschool program. By beginning critical social-emotional education during the preschool years, The Florida Center will empower at-risk children with the tools they need to succeed,” said Dr. Kristie Skoglund, Vice President of Clinical Services at The Florida Center, who will be overseeing the services.
Children often experience behavior and mental health issues related to living in poverty, growing up in chaotic households, experiencing pre-natal exposure to alcohol and other substances, including prescription drugs and methadone used to wean mothers from opiates. Increasingly, children under age five are demonstrating serious behavior and mental health problems.
A compelling 20-year study published in the American Journal of Public Health in July 2015 demonstrates the link between children’s social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood. By beginning critical social-emotional education during the preschool years, The Florida Center will empower at-risk children with the tools they need to succeed. Research shows that preschool children, especially those with challenging behavior, learn best in small group settings with supports to practice their new skills in the classroom.