5 Things From First Things First

| May 14, 2016

Five Things from First Things First

1. Sam I Am 

FTF Oral Health Investments Paying Off 

A new report shows that Arizona has reduced the percentage of kindergarteners with untreated tooth decay by 8 percent since a similar study in 2003, giving families, educators and policymakers something to smile about.

Today, the most common disease faced by young children is a rapid form of tooth decay, known as early childhood caries. Left untreated, tooth decay in young children’s primary teeth puts them at risk for future problems such as damaged permanent teeth; increased vulnerability to infections in other parts of the body, such as the ears, sinuses and the brain; and, impaired speech development, and reduced self-esteem. These problems can disrupt a child’s learning as she enters kindergarten and beyond.

▶ READ MORE about FTF’s leadership role in preventive oral health support and the significant progress being made for Arizona’s young children.

2. Around Arizona
Tempe Mom Credits Kids’ School Success to Empowering Parenting Program

Liliana Acosta had five children’s books in her home and would read them to her children every night. But, her daughter’s preschool teachers told the mother of two that she needed to read more to her 4-year-old daughter Camila. Acosta didn’t know what to do.

As Acosta dropped Camila off one day, she saw a flier for the Frank Family Resource Center in Guadalupe. The sign read, “Parents, want support in your job as your child’s first teacher? Workshops offered.”

“Child’s first teacher? What does that mean?” Acosta thought. She was curious.

▶ READ MORE about the classes that inspired Liliana as a parent and how, five years later, both of her children are thriving as a result.

3. Champions Corner
Children’s Museums Open Doors for Kids to Play and Learn 

For Autumn Rentmeester, Director of Development & Operations for the Children’s Museum Tucson and a longtime Champion of early childhood in the Pima North region, it’s natural that museums play an important role in early learning.

“I think in the arts community, and in the general community as well, often people don’t understand the importance and value of arts at a very early age,” Rentmeester says. “We see our Children’s Museum as both an arts resource and an education resource. What we do here looks like fun, but really, playing is a child’s job.”

▶ READ MORE about how Autumn champions early childhood in her Arizona community.

4. FTF Convenes National Advisory Panel
Panel Affirms FTF’s Approach to Measuring Impact 

A panel of national experts in research and evaluation recently said First Things First has demonstrated its commitment to ongoing improvement in its approach to gauging the impact of its work on behalf of young children.

“(FTF) has made incredible progress on so many fronts,” said panel chair Dr. John Love, a retired Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research. “We’re incredibly impressed with where we stand today compared to two years ago or especially four years ago.”

▶ READ MORE about the National Advisory Panel’s work with First Things First.

5. Early Childhood Summit 2016
Early Registration Opens May 16

The First Things First Early Childhood Summit brings together early childhood supporters and stakeholders to share innovative strategies that help kids be ready for school and set for life. Our largest annual event, this year’s Summit will present an exciting lineup of keynote and featured speakers and a wide array of informative breakout sessions on important early childhood topics. Make plans to join us in August.

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