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Region Stories

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.

Early literacy programs prepare Safford kindergartener for success

girl-with-crayonsStacy Broman-McAdams was new to the Safford community when she first saw an ad for Toddler Story Time at the Safford Library.

​Broman-McAdams, an experienced elementary school teacher, knew the importance of early care and education and thought this would be an ideal opportunity for herself and for her baby Rylee.

“We made it our routine,” Broman-McAdams said. “She loved her weekly crafts. Then, we’d venture into the library to check out books. Reading at home became a family affair.”

Rylee attended Toddler Time and, eventually, Preschool Story Time on a regular basis until it was time to enter kindergarten. The story times typically included reading a children’s book out loud and working on an activity, such as an art project or putting together a puzzle. These activities helped the toddler develop fine and gross motor skills, learn songs and the alphabet and develop her counting skills.

Rylee’s home library was expanded through an additional FTF-funded program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails a developmentally appropriate children’s book to the home each month until the child turns 6.

“This was the beginning of our children’s home library,” Broman-McAdams said.

Now in kindergarten, Rylee’s teacher confirmed what the family had planned.

“Rylee is beyond ready,” said her teacher Mrs. Evans. “She is already a reader. You can tell her parents were active in her preschool education. She knows her colors and sight words. She always finishes her lessons early. I need some early finisher tubs for her. She is also very social and enjoys helping others.”

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