Connect with The Libertore Fund for Children in Central Florida and the Florida Suncoast to improve at-risk children’s quality of life with the tools they need to succeed.   

If you are a partner agency and would like to share an event or contribution update, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fill out the form at the bottom of the page. 

Read What Some of Our Partners Have to Say…

"It is clear that you understand the importance of encouraging, supporting, and lifting up the children and families Children’s Home Society of Florida serves. You are reshaping the future for children.” 

“Thank you for continuing to support our mission to bless the lives of children in foster care. Your generous gift helps us to maintain a space where these hurting children feel loved and encouraged.” The Twig Cares 

"The comprehensive services, such as early childhood education, family strengthening, and emotional and behavioral support, that we can provide through your generosity, empowers parents and their children to reach their full potential." Children First 

“We can’t thank you enough for the donation for our summer reading program for 5- & 6-year-olds. Together, we are investing in our girls and are providing them with life-changing opportunities that empower them to become the next generation of leaders.” Girls Inc. of Sarasota County 

“Thank you for helping prevent and mend some of the ravages of generational poverty in our community. You are making a difference for vulnerable children and families. ”Parker Street Ministries

"Thanks to The Libertore Fund for Children, we were able to cast a wide net farther than any other foster parent recruitment campaign and found that we can change the story, the statistics, and the lives of foster children." Heart Gallery of Sarasota

Learn more about The Libertore Fund for Children and get involved today.

Understanding Learning Disabilities and Celebrating Them, Too!

We encourage everyone to take a few minutes to learn about disabilities that affect so many children and their ability to reach their full potential. Awareness is the first step to understanding differences that children struggle with, differences that you can’t see, which makes it difficult to understand, tolerate, and even celebrate. Every child is unique, with their own strengths, interests, and learning styles. However, some children may have learning differences that require additional attention and support.

Learning disabilities encompass a range of conditions, such as dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and auditory or visual processing disorders. These types of disabilities are not visible like a physical disability, so too often the child is considered a behavior problem, lazy, or unmotivated. Without help for a learning disability, a child falls behind in school, feels insecure, develops low self-esteem, and will eventually act out or withdraw. It is important for parents, educators, and society as a whole to recognize and accommodate these differences. To ensure that every child has an opportunity to succeed academically and socially, we need to understand the signs, behaviors, and options for help and intervention. Awareness and knowledge are critical to getting these children the support they need to realize success.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 2.5 million students have dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia and approximately 6 million students have ADHD. Often a student has several or more of these disabilities.

ADD/ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting), and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur at the moment without thought). An estimated 8.4% of children have ADHD (Danielson, 2018; Simon, et al., 2009). ADHD is often first identified in school-aged children when it leads to disruption in the classroom or problems with schoolwork. 

Students whose ADHD impairs their learning may qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or for a Section 504 plan.

Children with ADHD can benefit from study skills instruction, changes to the classroom setup, alternative teaching techniques, and a modified curriculum.  Here are some strategies to use at home:

  • Provide structure,
  • short breaks during homework time (15 minutes on task, 5 off)
  • Allow them to move while studying or use something to fidget with if they tend to be hyper or need to move.
  • Only give one or two directions at a time and have your child repeat the directions.

Learn more about the signs of ADD at https://www.understood.org/articles/checklist-signs-of-dyslexia-at-different-ages#Grades_K%E2%80%932_signs_of_dyslexia.

Autism

1 in 68 children are diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States. Often these children are identified after the age of three but autism spectrum could be detected as early as six to eighteen months. According to Autism Science Foundation, early diagnosis and early intervention are critical. Studies show that about half of children with autism who are in an evidence-based early intervention program from age 3-5 can gain enough skills to be mainstreamed for kindergarten. Read more about the signs of autism at http://autismsciencefoundation.org/what-is-autism/early-signs-of-autism/.

A Resource for Parents..

Download and explore Wunder, a free community app for parents and caregivers of children who learn and think differently. It’s a place where parents can safely connect with other parents to find support, seek advice from experts, and get resources to help their child thrive. https://www.understood.org/blog/meet-wunder-a-first-of-its-kind-community-app-for-parents-by-understood-org/

Early childhood is the period from prenatal development to six years of age. It is a crucial phase of growth and development because experiences during the early years influence outcomes across the entire course of an individual’s life. The early childhood years provide an important window of opportunity to explore, play and learn, preparing the foundation for life-long learning, while preventing potential delays in development and disabilities.

Are you interested in providing a young child with the chance to attend a quality daycare or preschool, but unable to do so without a scholarship? Let us take care of the research for you. We will ensure that the school offers a balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive, and language development, as well as early intervention resources, and verify that the funds go to a child or children who truly need this important foundation for their future


Building a Strong Foundation for Lifelong Learning


The early childhood years, spanning from prenatal development to around six years of age, represent a critical period in human development. This phase lays the groundwork for a child's future, shaping their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. Studies have consistently shown that experiences during these early years have a profound impact on an individual's life trajectory, making it a pivotal time for parents, caregivers, and society as a whole to invest in the well-being and education of young children.

Laying the Foundation


The period of early childhood is marked by rapid growth and development across various domains. From the moment of conception, a child's brain begins to form neural connections at an astounding rate, shaping the way they perceive and interact with the world. It is during these early years that children develop their language skills, emotional intelligence, problem-solving abilities, and social competence, among other critical traits.

Moreover, early childhood experiences significantly influence brain architecture. A nurturing and stimulating environment helps the brain form a strong foundation for learning, enabling a child to absorb information more effectively and adapt to various challenges throughout their life. Conversely, adverse experiences during this period, such as neglect, trauma, or chronic stress, can have detrimental effects on a child's development, potentially leading to long-term issues if not addressed promptly.


The Power of Play, Exploration, and Learning


Play is a fundamental aspect of early childhood development, and it goes beyond mere entertainment. Through play, children explore the world around them, test hypotheses, and learn valuable problem-solving skills. Engaging in creative and imaginative play fosters cognitive growth, language development, and emotional regulation.

Furthermore, exploration and curiosity play a pivotal role in how children understand their surroundings. Encouraging children to explore their environment in a safe and supportive manner allows them to make sense of the world, promoting cognitive and sensory-motor development. Early childhood educators and caregivers can capitalize on this natural curiosity by providing stimulating learning environments that spark a child's interest and facilitate their love for learning.


The Role of Quality Daycare and Preschool Education


High-quality daycare and preschool programs play a crucial role in supporting children's early development. These educational settings offer an environment where children can interact with peers, engage in structured learning activities, and receive guidance from trained educators. A balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive, and language development ensures that children acquire essential skills that will serve as a strong foundation for their future education and life.

However, we understand not every child has access to such quality early childhood education. Many families face financial constraints that prevent them from sending their children to reputable preschools or daycares. Recognizing the significance of early education, various organizations and scholarship programs aim to bridge this gap, providing deserving children with the opportunity to attend these institutions without financial burdens.

The inability to afford quality early childhood education should not hinder a child's potential for growth and success. Scholarships offered by caring individuals, foundations, or community organizations transform the lives of young children, giving them access to the resources and guidance they need during this formative phase.

Researching and identifying credible scholarship programs is an important step in ensuring that the assistance reaches those who genuinely need it. By partnering with reliable organizations, parents and caregivers can ensure that their child's scholarship leads to enrollment in a daycare or preschool that aligns with their child's unique needs and promotes holistic development.

Scholarships not only benefit individual children but also contribute to building a stronger and more prosperous society. Investing in early childhood education has been linked to numerous positive outcomes, such as increased high school graduation rates, reduced involvement in crime, and improved employment opportunities. By supporting children during their early years, we lay the groundwork for a brighter future for our communities and the world at large.

The early childhood years form the bedrock of an individual's development, influencing their academic success, emotional well-being, and overall potential throughout life. By understanding the significance of this critical phase and providing access to quality daycare and preschool education through scholarships, we can empower young children to unlock their full potential and contribute positively to society. By investing in our children's early years, we build a stronger and more promising future for everyone.

Childhood: Our foundation is committed to helping the youngest and most vulnerable by partnering with agencies that provide quality education and early intervention programs. DONATE

Are you interested in learning more about literacy for children? Feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the contact page

Works Cited

“Child development.” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_development. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Ramos, Jose A. “Important Child Development Stages - First 5 Years.” Children's Bureau, 25 April 2023, https://www.all4kids.org/news/blog/why-the-first-5-years-of-child-development-are-so-important/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

van Leer, Bernard. “NURTURING CARE.” World Health Organization (WHO), https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272603/9789241514064-eng.pdf. Accessed 19 July 2023.

It’s a New School Year … Will it Bring Excitement or Anxiety?

 

Most kids are excited to start a new school year. They look forward to meeting their new teacher and seeing their friends, but for some, it causes anxiety, like separation anxiety, test-taking anxiety, social pressures, and high academic expectations. Looking back, I know I had both excitement and anxiety. I loved school, and loved to learn, but also had anxiety. When I was young, I didn’t want to leave home. When I was older, I had a fear of failure and disappointing people because some of the academics were challenging for me. I didn’t know I had anxiety then, but it would have helped me if I knew what it was, why I had it, and was given coping skills to work through it.

 

School anxiety isn’t uncommon. Let’s look at some of the signs:

  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • headaches
  • struggling with paying attention
  • exhibiting a heightened level of clinginess
  • becoming ill (or feeling ill) more frequently
  • throwing tantrums or displaying other behavioral problems
  • freezing or panicking when asked to answer a question in class
  • struggling with school work (anxiety can often accompany learning disorders)
  • keeping to themselves at school rather than socializing with other kids

How can you help your child lessen the anxiety?

First, recognize the signs, then talk to your child about the unusual behaviors you are observing. They might be able to share the “why” but with some kids, they just don’t know. Talking about it might help them identify the source of the anxiety. 

I know things can be hectic before school, but it will help if you can have breakfast together and talk about positive things to look forward to that day. Make sure all assignments are in the backpack and all supplies needed are there, too. At least in the beginning of the school year. Even better, make sure all that is ready before bed, as well as putting the clothes out to wear for the next day.

After school can be just as hectic but having some type of routine for homework and prep for the next day will be helpful. Most importantly, finding time to talk about the day.

 

Help your child manage or cope with school anxiety by teaching them things like deep breathing exercises or creating a positive saying to think of and say over and over as a stress reliever. 

If you can’t help your child to work through their school anxiety on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out for help to your pediatrician, teacher, or principal.

Helping Your Child Achieve Their Full Potential 

The start of a new school year presents an excellent opportunity for parents to sit down with their children and engage in some thoughtful planning. Setting goals, both long-term and short-term, can significantly impact a child's academic success and personal growth. In this article, we will explore the importance of goal setting, how to set effective goals with your child, and some ideas for both long-term and short-term academic objectives. 

Why Set Goals? 

Goal setting is a powerful tool for personal development and achievement. When children set clear objectives, it provides them with a sense of direction, purpose, and motivation. Goals serve as a roadmap, guiding them through their educational journey and fostering a strong work ethic and determination. By instilling goal-setting skills early on, parents can equip their children with valuable life skills that will benefit them now and in the future. 

Setting Effective Goals with Your Child 

When setting goals with your child, it's crucial to ensure that the goals are SMART: 

  1. Specific: Goals should be precise and clear, leaving no room for ambiguity. Define what exactly your child wants to achieve. 
  2. Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable so that progress can be tracked and celebrated. This also helps your child understand when they have achieved the desired outcome. 
  3. Achievable: While it's essential to encourage ambition, goals should also be realistic and attainable based on your child's abilities and current academic standing. 
  4. Relevant: Goals should hold personal value for your child, aligning with their interests, passions, and long-term aspirations.
  5. Time-Bound: Set a deadline for achieving each goal. Time constraints create a sense of urgency and encourage consistent effort. 

Academic Goal Setting for School 

Academic success is often a primary focus during goal setting. To set effective academic goals with your child, follow these steps: 

  1. Assess the Starting Point: Begin by reviewing your child's previous grades and academic performance. This will provide a baseline for improvement. 
  2. Set Grade Goals: Discuss and agree on specific grade targets for each subject. Encourage incremental growth, even if it's just a minor improvement. 
  3. Write It Down: Putting goals in writing solidifies commitment and accountability. Ensure that both long-term and short-term academic goals are documented. If they aren’t written down they are just a dream 
  4. Break Down the Steps: Short-term goals are essential milestones on the path to achieving long-term objectives. Break down each long-term goal into actionable steps. 

Long-Term Goal Ideas 

Here are some examples of long-term academic goals your child might consider: 

  1. Grade Improvement: Strive to bring up a grade in a specific subject from the previous report card (e.g., from a C to a B). 
  2. Overall GPA: Set a target for the semester or year's overall GPA, aiming for consistent growth. 
  3. Subject Excellence: Aim to end the academic year with certain grades or achievements in specific subjects that align with your child's interests and strengths. 

Short-Term Goal Ideas: 

Short-term goals are the stepping stones toward achieving long-term success. Some short-term academic goals may include:

  1. Homework Management: Ensure all assigned homework is completed on time and submitted promptly. 
  2. Preparedness: Attend classes with the necessary supplies, actively participate, and even preview upcoming materials. 
  3. Effective Test Preparation: Encourage your child to prepare for tests by staying on top of classwork, actively participating, and engaging in thorough review using class notes, textbooks, and past tests. 
  4. Note-Taking Skills: Teach your child to take comprehensive and organized notes during classes, and encourage them to rewrite notes for better understanding. 
  5. Time Management: Help your child develop good time management skills by setting aside dedicated study time and adhering to a study schedule. 

Reward and Motivation 

To keep your child motivated and reinforce their achievements, consider implementing a reward system. When long-term goals are met, provide a meaningful reward that was agreed upon when the goals were initially set. Additionally, offer smaller rewards as they make progress on short-term goals. These rewards not only motivate your child but also foster a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to continue striving for success. 

As a parent, your support and involvement in the goal-setting process plays a crucial role in your child's path to success. So, sit down with your child, set those goals, and watch them soar to new heights!

Goal-setting success for your kids: Our foundation is committed to helping the youngest and most vulnerable by partnering with agencies that provide quality education and early intervention programs. DONATE

Are you interested in learning more about literacy for children? Feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the contact page


Photo by Omar Ram on Unsplash

 

Contact Us

The Libertore Fund For Children
P.O. Box 5415
Lakeland, FL 33807

info@libfund.org
(844)329-4434

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