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Region Stories from Tohono O'odham Nation

These stories illustrate how early childhood programs and services funded by First Things First make a difference for young children and families in communities across Arizona.

Deidre Ortega

Professional development program helps Tohono O’odham teacher achieve unique experiences for…

  • tribal

The professional development program is designed to strengthen knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices and how young kids learn.

Deidre Ortega

Deidre Ortega is the 2020 Tohono O’odham Nation Region Champion

  • champion

Deidre Ortega has been selected as the 2020 First Things First Tohono O’odham Nation Region Champion for Young Children.The award is given to local champions…

Marjorie Juan

Tohono O’odham Nation elder finds joy in guiding and shaping young children

  • professional development

The path to earning two college degrees was not a simple one for Juan, whose career in early childhood education on the Tohono O’odham Nation spans more than…

woman smiling

Belinda Fendenheim is the 2019 Tohono O’odham Nation Region Champion

  • champion

Belinda Fendenheim has been selected as the 2019 First Things First Tohono O’odham Nation Region Champion for Young Children.

three sisters

Quality First scholarship sets Sells girl on road to educational success

  • tribal

A Quality First scholarship allowed Talise to enroll in the Indian Oasis Elementary School pre-k program, which helped her grow socially and academically.

Katherine Cohen

Katherine Cohen is Tohono O’odham Nation’s 2018 Champion for Young Children

  • champion

Katherine Cohen has been selected as the 2018 Tohono O’odham Nation’s First Things First Champion for Young Children.The award is given to local champions…

girls on playground

Quality First scholarship helps Tohono O’odham family

  • Quality First

Catherine Toro wanted her 2-year-old daughter Hailey to be somewhere that would help with her early childhood development.From the first day they visited…

District preschool helps prepare Tohono O’odham children for kindergarten

  • Quality First

​A preschool program at Indian Oasis Elementary School in Sells is providing quality early learning to children living on the Tohono O’odham Nation.In…


Tohono O’odham Nation boy grows literacy skills and bonds with mom through daily reading

  • literacy

Daniella Parley wanted her son to be successful in school, but she didn’t know where to start. Gabriel Pablo was 3 years old when his mother heard about the…

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