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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.


Toddler blossoms through early learning scholarship

  • Quality First

Chandler mom Torre Valentine is a big proponent of quality early childhood education. “It helps to set a foundation for how (a child’s) future is going to…


Parents as Teachers helps Yuma child find her words

  • parenting education

Abigail Rauso and her husband Michael were troubled when their baby Hannah was a little over a year old and not speaking words.The child would communicate in…


Parent mentoring builds strong, healthy families for a strong society

  • family support

When Rosa is asked about what she has learned from the Healthy Families program, the mother of three responds, “What haven’t I learned?”Healthy Families…


Parents as Teachers helps Gilbert couple teach fragile son

  • Southeast Maricopa

For Scott and Pat Hall of Gilbert, their adopted son Ethan was a miracle. Born seven weeks early and weighing only 4 pounds, the medical crises with the baby…


New directions parenting class helps resolve sibling strife

  • parenting education

Maanasi was having a hard time playing sibling referee for her two children, ages 9 and 3. They would fight over toys, books and even where the other was…

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

  • early care and 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…


Tucson dad learns how to help son be ready for kindergarten

  • parenting education

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…

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