Early experiences build the foundation for a lifetime.
From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than any other time in life. Research shows that the quality of a child’s early life experiences shape how their brain develops. First Things First partners with families and communities to help our state’s youngest children prepare for kindergarten and beyond.
“Early childhood is a time of tremendous growth across all areas of development. These years are the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.”
SFY2019 highlights of the proven programs and innovative strategies in the San Carlos Apache Region:
9,972 Books got into the homes of infants, toddlers and preschoolers through a local distribution program.
193 Adult caregivers attended classes on the importance of nutrition and physical activity to the healthy development of young children.
28 Families of newborns received the Arizona Parent Kit, filled with tips and tools to help support their child’s healthy development.
464 Children monitored to receive appropriate screenings to detect vision, hearing and developmental issues to prevent learning challenges later on.
37 Children received a screening to detect tooth decay which, left undetected and treated, could cause damage to permanent teeth, impaired speech development and failure to thrive.
34 Children received fluoride varnishes applied to protect against childhood tooth decay.
San Carlos Apache Region Family Story
Vision Screening Helps San Carlos Boy Find Focus
Kaylee Talgo knew something was wrong before she received the referral for the eye doctor for her 4-year-old son, Bryson. She had noticed that he had a hard time understanding and following directions. He was also standing very close to the television.
So when she received the vision referral from a developmental and sensory screening he had at Rice Preschool in San Carlos, she was not surprised.
The First Things First San Carlos Apache Region funds developmental, hearing and vision screenings to improve the number of screenings for young children in the region, like the screening Bryson received.
Research shows that a child’s vision starts to develop from the time they are born until kindergarten, so it is critical to identify issues with eye health and vision development at a young age, when problems are easier to correct with early treatment. Especially since young children rarely complain about vision problems because they believe everyone sees the world the way they do.
“Mom, I can see now!”
Talgo took her son to the eye doctor, who told her Bryson needed glasses. The first time Bryson put on his glasses, he exclaimed, “Mom, I can see now!” He told her he was excited to play tee ball and participate in Junior Rodeo.
“It has made a difference in our family dynamic as well,” Talgo said. “Bryson seems to understand and follow directions much better and is able to play Legos, puzzles and games with his siblings now.”
Now that he’s started kindergarten, Talgo is happy that Bryson was able to start day one with clear vision. She tells other parents to trust their instinct if they feel their child needs help.
“I recommend that parents and caregivers take it seriously when you get a referral to follow up on screenings and do it right away,” she said. “Help your child have everything he or she needs to be successful in life!”
FTF San Carlos Apache Regional Partnership Council
SFY19 Total Regional Program Expenditures
The First Things First San Carlos Apache Regional Partnership Council is made up of volunteers who study the unique needs of the local community and decide how funds will be used to best support the development, education and health of young children birth to age 5. FTF invests in proven programs and innovative strategies through grants to community organizations that provide services to children and families.
|Parent and Community Awareness
|Quality Child Care and Preschool
|Workforce Development and Training
|Research and Evaluation
The boundaries of the San Carlos Apache Region are defined to be those of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. The region covers almost 3,000 square miles in east-central Arizona. Most of the region lies within Gila and Graham counties, although there is a small, uninhabited section in Pinal County. The reservation, which was established in 1871, is divided into four districts: Seven Mile Wash, Gilson Wash, Peridot and Bylas. The San Carlos Apache Region includes Legislative District 7. (Legislative districts are not necessarily congruent with regional boundaries.)
Learn more at: FirstThingsFirst.org/Regions/San-Carlos-Apache
Download a PDF version of this report.