First Things First partners with families and communities to help our state’s youngest children prepare for kindergarten and beyond.
Many young children in Arizona face challenges that threaten their healthy development and learning. In the Gila Region, there are 2,688 children (under age 6) with 36% living in poverty.
Here is how FTF is working to support young children and their families in this region.
“Early childhood education is absolutely crucial, and I’m just so dang proud of Gila County initiatives that put books in the hands of our kiddos and encourage parents to read to their children—and read to them often! It’s the single most significant key to a child’s early education.”
Gila Regional Key Impact Highlights
[Fiscal Year 2020]
378 Families of newborns received the Arizona Parent Kit, filled with tips and tools to help support their child’s healthy development.
183 Parents and other caregivers participated in evidence-based trainings designed to improve knowledge of parenting practices and children’s development.
231 Children attended preschools and child care programs participating in Quality First.
61 Children birth to age 5 received a Quality First scholarship to attend high-quality preschools and child care programs.
3 Early childhood educators received college scholarships to improve their qualifications for working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
342 Children monitored to receive appropriate screenings to detect vision, hearing and developmental issues to prevent learning challenges later on.
16,596 Books were given to families with children ages birth to 5 years to encourage parent-child interaction and reading.
208 Children received a screening to detect tooth decay, which left undetected and untreated could cause damage to permanent teeth, impair speech development and failure to thrive.
Gila Family Story
Oral health program in Payson helps with 4-year-old boy’s dental needs
When a young mom arrived with her three children, all under the age of 5, at a domestic violence shelter in Payson, shelter staff noticed the oldest, 4-year-old “Eric” was very thin and had difficulty eating.
The shelter, Time Out, Inc. partners with the First Smiles program through the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Pinal County to provide residents’ young children with free preventive dental screenings.
FTF Gila Regional Partnership Council
SFY20 Total Regional Program Expenditures
The FTF Gila Regional Partnership Council is made up
of volunteers who study the unique needs of the local community and decide how funds should be used to best support the healthy development and early learning 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. Some of the programs in this region include developmental, sensory and oral health screenings, Active Parenting: First Five Years classes and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
|Quality Child Care and Preschool
|Research and Evaluation
The FTF Gila Region is defined as Gila County, not including the lands belonging to the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the White Mountain Apache Tribe, which are their own First Things First regions. The FTF Gila Region’s population is located in the small towns of Globe, Payson, Miami, Hayden/Winkelman, Pine/ Strawberry, the unincorporated areas of Tonto Basin and Young, and a number of rural unincorporated communities. The Tonto Apache Tribe is located within the FTF Gila Region, adjacent to the city of Payson. The FTF Gila Region includes Legislative District 6. (Legislative districts are not necessarily congruent with regional boundaries.)