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View the original segment on Suncoast News Network.

From the womb through early childhood, a child’s proper brain development is crucial. First 1,000 Days Suncoast has launched a big campaign to help our smallest residents.

“As a parent, the thing you wish the most is for your children to succeed and thrive in the world,” Sarasota mom, Maria Somera said.

First 1,000 Days Suncoast is an initiative to ensure all families have the tools and education to help children reach their full potential.  It’s called that because the first 1,000 days of life are the most critical.

“About 80-percent of a child’s brain is fully developed by the time their age two,” First 1,000 Days Sarasota Program Coordinator, Dr. Chelsea Arnold said.

So, they’re “Coloring The Community” to spread awareness.

“It’s just a fun way to celebrate children, to get outside and do some of these activities,” Arnold said. “And also, Sarasota is a place for the arts, we’ve got a lot of arts in our community and it’s just something to add to that.”

“It gives you ideas to do something together as a family with your kids,” Somera said. “And play around and have fun, while you are also promoting education and skills into your kids.”

From paintings in North Port to murals in Sarasota, it’s sparking conversation on the Suncoast.

“Children learn by doing,” 40 Carrots Pre-School Director, Flora Oynick said. “By using their five senses. So, it’s not just looking at the mural, it’s using it to have conversations to developing best practices to have families come and see it together.”

Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation spearheaded the project and More than 75 organizations support it.

“You know the saying, it takes a village to raise a child,” Oynick said. “We all need the support of all of our agencies to be able to help and support every single family.”

Somera has two kids with a third on the way. She says this has helped her in more ways than one.

“They basically get you connected to whatever medical, mental health or social services you could need,” Somera said. “Not only for the first 1,000 days but as a family as a whole.

First 1,000 Sarasota plans to add another traveling art piece with Sarasota County Libraries. More activities to come this summer. If you’re interested in learning more about the initiative, you can click here.

About Barancik Foundation

The Charles and Margery Barancik family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It was the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation—a private, family foundation located in Sarasota, Florida.

1515 Ringling Boulevard, Suite 500, Sarasota FL 34236
The Barancik Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funding.

©2020 Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. All rights reserved.