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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.

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…

girl-at-school

Center teaches mom tools to support toddler’s learning

  • family resource center

Even though she has a successful career in business and community development, Lisa Armijo of Phoenix was like many new moms –unsure she had the skills to…

Tempe mom credits kids’ school success to empowering parenting program

  • school readiness

​​​​Liliana Acosta had five children’s books in her home and would read them to her children every night. But, her daughter’s preschool teachers…

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