Lynda Bennett with First Things First spoke at a recent PVEB Lion’s meeting and the topic was:
First Things First — Arizona’s early childhood agency catering to children from birth to age five.
Bennett mentioned that children who have positive, stable relationships with parents and caregivers, as well as quality childcare and preschool experiences, do better in school and in life.
Early childhood brain development is like a garden, she explained. If you amend the soil, this action helps the garden be fertile. “It’s the same with young kid brains,” she said.
Children growing up with positive relationships in a fertile, learning environment are more likely to read at grade level and graduate from high school, Bennett explained.
First Things First works with community partnerships and receives funding through various agencies including the cigarette tax. The agency offers home visitation programs, parent education, and scholarships to families for quality childcare.
For more information, visit www.firstthingsfirst.org.