NGOs Enhance Family Living in Sarasota


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, November 5th, 2015 – Milestones have been set anew recently by non-government organizations supportive of growing families in Sarasota, with an alumnae of a local Boys & Girls Club having been named as the 2015-2016 National of America Youth of the Year. Additionally, the Forty Carrots Family Center announced in September 2015 that it is expanding its services and buying a new building, a move directly beneficial to its nearby communities like those around Poinsettia Park and Arlington Park.

Honored with the 2015-2016 National Youth of the Year award was Whitney Stewart, an eighteen-year old raised in North Port by a single mother. A graduate of the Sarasota Military Academy who started her first semester at University of Pennsylvania recently, Stewart cited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and its positive environment as a turning point in her life. She is the first club member in the organization’s history to compete for and win this prestigious national recognition.

After-school programs

NGOs Enhance Family Living in Sarasota

Most of the projects of the club are being undertaken via community partnerships with organizations such as the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, Take Stock in Children, Ringling College of Art and Design, All Faith’s Food Bank, Whole Foods Market, Girls Scouts, and Publix. Notably, developer Lee Wetherington is one of the major supporters of the club and in recognition of this support, its Fruitville Road building was named after the home builder.

Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota services include after-school programs which, among other things, cover recreation, homework assistance, and other activities promoting healthy lifestyle, academic success, character and leadership at the club’s five local centers. Underscoring this commitment, the club recently announced it is adding after-school services to 100 children in its location in Newtown Estates. Besides its Newtown and Fruitville locations, the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County has centers dedicated to serve their surrounding communities at 1790 21st Street in Sarasota, 920 Gulf Coast Blvd. in Venice, and 6851 S. Biscayne Blvd. in North Port.

Expanded Family Servicing

As committed too is the nonprofit Forty Carrots Family Center. It is now on the final leg of raising $600,000 for the purchase of a former real estate office building in Floyd Street adjacent to its Kane Campus at Tuttle Avenue.

Acquisition of this building will enable Forty Carrots’ expansion of its Parenting Education and Mental Health Programs by opening more Child and Family Therapy Rooms. Some administrative staff will also be moved to the purchased building to free up much-needed workspace at the Kane Campus for program staff and allow Forty Carrots to create a new Science Room for Preschoolers.

The nonprofit organization has been helping families for over 20 years through educational programs for children, parents, and professionals in the field. Its programs include mental-health services for families and children, parenting education, VPK and preschool classes. In the 12-month period May 2015, Forty Carrots Family Center served close to 4,000 individuals. Free services were extended to 90 percent of families it has served.