NewsSarasota, Manatee County


New portal connects parents to community resources in Sarasota

First 1,000 Days of Sarasota launches portal
Posted at 11:24 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 23:24:28-05

SARASOTA, Fla. — The First 1,000 Days Sarasota launched a digital parent portal for families to instantly connect with community resources and give parents access to brain-boosting activities for their babies.

The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation spearheaded the initiative. Charles and Margery Brancik were killed in a car crash in 2019 on Longboat Key.

The couple gave generously to the community where they lived and the foundation continues their mission of helping others.

The foundation partnered with Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Chelsea Arnold, a Program Coordinator for The First 1,000 Days Sarasota, said the portal is a great tool for families, especially during a pandemic.

"We believe this parent portal came at the perfect time because families are needing help navigating this difficult time, we can provide those resources to them," said Dr. Chelsea Arnold, Program Coordinator for The First 1,000 Days Sarasota.

The portal connects families to community resources including free or low-cost services for prenatal or medical care, food, transitional housing, mental health, addiction recovery and daycare.

"56% of Sarasota County babies born at Sarasota Memorial Hospital are born to low-income or poverty-stricken families so specifically families that are Medicaid or uninsured," said Dr. Arnold.

Dr. Arnold said 80% of brain development happens before a child's 3rd birthday.

"I welcome parents to access our parent portal website if they need any kind of assistance or if they want to learn about some brain-boosting tips for their children," she said.

Brittany Pendarvis is a parent advisor. She helps mold the portal to fit the needs of families. She gave birth to a baby girl in June during the pandemic.

Pendarvis is also a survivor of domestic violence and has struggled with addiction in the past. She uses her experiences to help other women.

"I like to help other women because there was a point in my story that I thought I could do things on my own. If only I knew that I couldn't do them on my own," she said. "They can connect you with community resources if you visit the website."

For more information on The First 1,000 Days Sarasota, click here.