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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

  • parent education/awareness

​​​​​​​ “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

  • Coconino

​​​​​​​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

  • Coconino

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

  • Pima South

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…


Dads play important role in social-emotional development of children

  • Pima South

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

  • Phoenix South

​​​​​​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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