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First Things First honors Pinal Champion for Young Children

First Things First honors Pinal Champion for Young Children

2018-07-20 
| by San Tan Valley Daily PRSS | Posted in STV News

First Things First recognizes Karen Bradley as a 2018 First Things First Champion for Young Children.

  The award is given to local champions who actively volunteer their time to raise public awareness of the importance of early childhood development and health. Champions spend a significant amount of time volunteering with FTF and building public awareness about the importance of early childhood issues.

  Bradley, who lives in San Tan Valley, is the founder and volunteer parent educator with the home-based House of Timothy pregnancy program for the past five years. She also volunteers with New Mercies Pregnancy Center with Compassion Care Center in San Tan Valley. These agencies provide support to families, starting with pregnancy, through labor and into early childhood.

  Helping families be aware of the importance of early childhood is important to her.

  “The experiences, both positive and negative, a child has during their first few years create the foundation that the rest of their lives are built upon,” she said. “Providing optimal experiences through early childhood development, and focusing on their physical and mental well-being, will get children off to the best start possible.”

  Bradley engaged in awareness-raising efforts such as:

• Teaching the “Mommy and Me” classes to parents and guardians at the Compassion Care Center in San Tan Valley every Wednesday, reinforcing the FTF website as a resource and utilizing FTF tools, such as the playbooks, Read-On Literacy Guides, Kids Basics and grocery pads as part of the curriculum.

• Reviewing and distributing the FTF Parent Kit to more than 50 soon-to-be parents or guardians in both English and Spanish through the House of Timothy.

• Working with almost two dozen parents to help them understand the importance of early childhood development and health and engaging with their babies before birth, and reading and interacting with them after birth. Bradley covers subjects such as 90 percent of a baby’s brain develops by age 5 and reinforces the importance of reading, playing, and engaging with their infants and toddlers from the start.

• Hosting information tables at church events and homeless groups, engaging parents and providing early childhood information to parents and books/bookmarks to children birth to age 5. She shares FTF materials, such as fact sheets, awareness cards, playbooks, with more than 200 parents and more than 50 children throughout the San Tan Valley and Apache Junction areas.

• Using social media to post information about early childhood from First Things First on both the New Mercies and House of Timothy Facebook pages.

• The presentation of the award to Karen Bradley will take place at the September First Things First Pinal Regional Partnership Council meeting.

  For more information about Bradley and your local regional council partnership please visit: http://bit.ly/2uv2EUv and click on Pinal.

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.

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