Group Wants Families, Officials To Recognize Children

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First Things First Gila Regional Partnership Council asks families and elected officials to recognize children during the Week of the Young Child, April 19-25.

As part of the national Week of the Young Child celebrated across the country, First Things First is honoring young children and all those who make a difference in children’s lives.

“All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life, and Arizona has a great opportunity to do our part to help young children,” said Nadine Mathis Basha, chair, First Things First.

“Week of the Young Child is time to recognize the importance of early learning for all young children, and to bring Arizona together to help give all young children a great start.” 

Young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which help children get a great start, and bring lasting benefits to Arizona. 

Gila Regional Partnership Council members are a group of volunteers who are dedicated to expanding school readiness opportunities for children birth through age 5.

Council members from across the region who reside in the Globe area are Alexis Rivera, chair; Sharri Moody, Ann Tolman, Audrey Opitz and Paula Horn. Council members residing in the Payson area are Roger Kortman, vice-chair; Sue Yale, Dr. Diane Bricker and Hubert Nanty.

The Gila Regional Office is located at 1600 E. Ash St., Suite 1 in Globe and the phone number is (928) 425-8172.

The Gila Region has received $593,267 and efforts have started to implement opportunities across the county that include oral health screenings, developmental screenings, efforts to increase and retain the region’s early care and education work force; increase the number of regulated home-care providers in the region using a quality rating system, distribute current information about child development and home visitation services.

What can you do to celebrate young children?  Talk, read and play — interact with a young child daily, the group says.

Stay informed about early childhood programs in your community; better yet, volunteer. Be involved — ask elected officials about the priority they put on early childhood.

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