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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.

Supporting grandparents in their role as second-time-around caregivers

  • parenting education

​​​​​​​ “Nana, Nana!” Kate and Alexa run in to Cindy’s Fredonia home every morning excited to have breakfast and play with their grandma.…

Growing up great in Page

  • parenting education

​​​​​​​Foster mother Sandra Guzman* is rediscovering what it is like to raise an infant, now that her family is fostering baby Isaac*.With a 14-…

Getting ready for kindergarten

  • school readiness

In a classroom at Fredonia Elementary School, young children sitting at a computer playing a phonics game; some are shaping objects out of play dough; at…

family-with-books

Tucson dad learns how to help son be ready for kindergarten

  • school readiness

Miguel Cortez of Tucson has three sons, twins who are in sixth grade, and Christopher, who started kindergarten this fall. Although all of his children…

parents-with-girl

Dads play important role in social-emotional development of children

  • parenting education

Samara hesitated at first, but with the encouragement of her dad, the toddler soon began clapping her hands and swaying to the music. She was among dozens of…

A safe haven for children in need

  • Quality First

​​​​​​Walking into a haven like UMOM Hobbs Child Development Center immediately fills you with a sense of comfort and safety. The quiet as tiny…

Quality learning in preschool and at home boosts Grand Canyon kindergartener’s success

  • school readiness

When her son Demitrius was 3 years old, Kate Maragos felt guilty. As a mom of three, a Sunday school teacher, a volunteer and a long-term placement foster mom,…

First-time mom gains confidence as child’s first teacher

  • parenting education

A first-time mom from Winslow, Laura Chee has big dreams for her 1-year-old son, Noah.“I want him to grow up to be respectful and do a lot,” said…

Access to safe, quality child care gives family a boost

  • Quality First

​​​​​How does a single father raise three little girls and hold a job? For the family of Safford resident Joshua, the First United Methodist…

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