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2020 Impact Report – Cocopah Tribe Region

First Things First partners with families and communities to help our state’s youngest children prepare for kindergarten and beyond.

Many young children in Arizona face challenges that threaten their healthy development and learning. In the Cocopah Tribe Region, there are 65 children (under age 6) with 65% living in poverty.

Here is how FTF is working to support young children and their families in this region.

“As a Cocopah Tribe member, I have witnessed how diet changes have debilitated the health of the Cocopah Tribe members. I’ve observed the impact of the Let’s Cook | Let’s Eat | Let’s Play program. It has brought our community together creating experiences for families that revitalize traditional values and food. Funding this program has created a powerful collaboration between tribal and non- tribal programs that goes beyond the reach of the funding.”

Wilana Ortega
Chair of FTF Cocopah Tribe Regional Partnership Council

Cocopah Tribe Regional Key Impact Highlights
[Fiscal Year 2020]


107 Resources distributed to families with young children at parenting activities offering education about the importance of early childhood.

87 Adults attended parenting activities to learn more about the importance of early childhood development.

14 Families with young children participated in voluntary home visiting programs proven to reduce parental stress levels, increase connections to community supports, and improve children’s cognitive, motor, behavioral and social-emotional development.

19 Children attended preschools and child care programs participating in Quality First.

Preventive Health

17 Children monitored to receive appropriate screenings to detect vision, hearing and developmental issues to prevent learning challenges later on.

7 Parenting activities were offered to families to provide information about the importance of early childhood development.

2 Professionals attended workshops to learn new tools and strategies to implement in their work with families.

Mom holding young daughter in pink Disney shirt

Cocopah Tribe Family Story

Health awareness program helps Cocopah families try healthy foods to reduce obesity in young children

Jessica Serrano brought her 1-year-old daughter, Jyselle, to Cocopah Family Night with the hopes of learning some new cooking skills and, for a change, preparing dinner with her daughter.

“I thought it was a good idea to cook the food in front of the audience instead of doing it behind the scenes, so everyone could get hands-on experience,” said Serrano.

Serrano was one of many Cocopah Tribe families who are taking the first step to healthier eating after attending the event aimed to reduce child obesity.

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FTF Cocopah Tribe Regional Partnership Council

SFY20 Total Regional Program Expenditures

The FTF Cocopah Tribe Regional Partnership Council is made up of volunteers who study the unique needs of the local community and decide how funds should be used to best support the healthy development and early learning of young children birth to age 5. FTF invests in proven programs and innovative strategies through grants to community organizations that provide services to children and families. Some of the programs in this region include Early Steps Program, Quality First and Professional Development for Early Childhood Professionals.


Strengthening Families $55,184 95%
Research and Evaluation $2,942 5%



Cocopah Tribe

The FTF Cocopah Indian Tribe is a federally recognized, sovereign tribe located in the most southwestern corner of Arizona, 13 miles south of Yuma and along the Colorado River. The Cocopah (Kwapa), also known as the River People, have historically lived along the lower Colorado River and delta. They are descendants of the Yuman-language speaking people that occupied the lands along the Colorado River. The current Cocopah Reservation is comprised of three noncontiguous regions: East, North and West Reservations. The boundaries of the First Things First Cocopah Tribe Region match those of the Cocopah Reservation. The FTF Cocopah Tribe Region Region includes Legislative District 4. (Legislative districts are not necessarily congruent with regional boundaries.)


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Download a PDF version of this report. 

Cocopah Tribe PDF

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