First Things First applauds grandparents who are raising Arizona’s next generation

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Celebrating grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

Celebrating grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

CASA GRANDE (August, 2016) – The first Sunday after Labor Day is recognized as Grandparents’ Day in the United States. This year, the day falls on Sept. 11. As the nation celebrates Grandparents’ Day, First Things First applauds those grandparents who are parenting a second time around.

  Earlier this year, the Arizona Legislature proclaimed September as Grandfamily/Kinship Care Month, a time to recognize grandparents and other family members raising children who cannot be cared for by their own parents. State Senator Debbie Lesko sponsored the bill.

In Arizona, 14 percent of Arizona children ages 0 to 5 live with grandparents, compared to 12 percent nationally. Of those 14 percent, 30 percent of these households have no parent of the child present, meaning grandparents are responsible for most of the basic needs of children living with them.

  For many grandparents, it can be challenging when it has been decades since they cared for young children. So much has been learned about brain development and the impact of early experiences. Now we know that about 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before age 5. More and more evidence shows quality early interactions are crucial for a young child’s success in school and later in life.

  FTF provides funding for various programs that are having positive impacts on grandparents and Arizona’s children. In Pinal County, FTF Pinal Region funds the United Way of Pinal County Friend, Family & Neighbor (FFN) Caregivers Outreach Assistance Project, which offers support to grandparents raising and/or caring for their grandchildren. Grandparents can attend free monthly trainings and networking events on topics such as early literacy, the importance of play to a child’s learning and how to deal with challenging behaviors. For more information about the FFN program, call 520-836-0736, ext. 13.

  Shirley Petty, a grandmother, participated in the San Tan Valley program for many years. Her granddaughter recently started kindergarten.

  “My granddaughter is as smart as a whip and she would not be where she is emotionally, academically or physically if it were not for the FFN monthly meetings,” Petty said. “I learned a wealth of up-to-date knowledge and information. After all, my children are grown and it was many years since I cared for a little one.”

  FTF also provides two statewide resources that can provide advice and support to grandparents raising their grandkids. The Birth to 5 Helpline (1-877-705-KIDS) is a free program and open to all Arizona families, with young children ages birth to 5, looking for the latest child development information from experts in the field.

  Then there’s the Arizona Parent Kit, which is given to families of newborns when they leave the hospital or available for check-out at many libraries, each kit includes: DVDs on everything from challenging behaviors to choosing child care, a book to encourage daily reading with infants and a list of community resources.

  Supporting grandparents in their efforts to raise the next generation will help create a strong foundation of learning, growth and success for all children.

ftf-logo

About First Things First

First Things First is a voter-created, statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help kids be successful once they enter kindergarten. Decisions about how those funds are spent are made by local councils staffed by community volunteers. To learn more, visit FirstThingsFirst.org.

Staff (5776 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Ballots arriving now for special election for Mammoth-San Manuel School District

    April 30th, 2021
    by

      Ballots began arriving in mailboxes for registered voters in the Mammoth-San Manuel Unified School District No. 8 School Site […]


    Jenna Martinez-Inzunza awarded Esperanza Award

    April 29th, 2021
    by

      Hayden-Winkelman K-2 teacher Jenna Martinez-Inzunza was recently nominated and awarded a Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Award.    She […]


    John Frank Canez

    March 31st, 2021
    by

      John Canez, 62, of Mesa, Arizona entered eternal rest Jan. 19, 2021. He was born July 1,1958 at Williams […]


    Eva Morales Estrada

    March 31st, 2021
    by

      Eva “Evie” Morales Estrada, age 81, was the daughter of the late Rafaela Morales and Manuel Le Grande; and […]


  • Additional Stories

    Robert ‘Bobby’ Chavez Sr.

    March 31st, 2021
    by

      Robert “Bobby” Chavez Sr., 65, of Hayden, Arizona entered into eternal rest in the early morning of Sunday, Feb. […]


    Delia Aguirre Benavidez

    March 31st, 2021
    by

      Delia Aguirre Benavidez passed away on Feb. 16, 2021. After a long and courageous battle with liver disease, she […]


    Shop at Home: Superior Skincare

    March 31st, 2021
    by

     In April, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed […]


    Shop at Home: Outpaws Pet Grooming

    March 31st, 2021
    by

    In April, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed […]


  • Copperarea

  • Southeast Valley Ledger