When you don’t know when your next meal will be or if you’ll have a place to sleep at night, it may feel as though life has become a series of impossible challenges. Now imagine being a child in that situation. How can you attend school if you don’t know how you’ll get there? Or if you don’t have clean clothes to wear? How can you focus in class when you haven’t had any food to eat?
While those imagined scenarios are heartbreaking, it is a reality for many Arizona children. Which is what inspired the formation of the Children First Foundation (CFF). Since its inception in 2012, CFF has served over 5,000 impoverished children – a feat owed entirely to the generosity of its donors, volunteers, and staff. Thanks to the support of the community, the Children First Foundation is able to give underprivileged and homeless youth a path to success by eliminating the barriers that usually prevent those from low-income families from acquiring a quality education.
The Children First Foundation’s primary focus is to bridge the gap in funding for the Children First Leadership Academy (CFLA) – a free public charter school whose goal is to inspire its approximately 300 students, grades K-8, to be respectful individuals, responsible citizens, and critical thinkers. All of the students served live at or below the poverty line and, in any given year, as many as seventy-five percent of the students at the Children First Leadership Academy are homeless. CFLA is able to provide its students with a stable, stimulating and supportive environment that instills confidence and success.
Mission: To provide high-quality educational services and resources to students with wide-ranging social, emotional, and academic needs, in a safe, stable, engaging, and empowering environment, in preparation for current and future success.
Vision: Every student will succeed.
The priority is in the name — Children First. CFF and CFLA place the utmost importance on the children, creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all who attend. At CFLA, students are provided with 3 square meals a day, have access to a clothing room where they can find clothing for themselves or their families, transportation to and from school, and on-sight medical and dental services. Without the worry of finding basic needs, these amazing children are finally given the freedom to focus on their studies.
CFLA further sets itself apart from other schools with its focus on leadership. With a curriculum based on the best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey, students receive instruction in leadership, ethics and the principles of wise decision-making.
Equipped with the right knowledge, the path to a bright future can appear. Help us give these children the chance to achieve their potential. Donate today.
The Children First Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Our goal is to tear down barriers to education for homeless and underprivileged students across Arizona.