Kids Playing

"Money collected through Monday, September 30, will benefit programs and services designed to help young children from birth to age 5 be ready for kindergarten."

Local grocery shoppers will have the opportunity this month to help Arizona’s youngest children learn, grow and succeed.

First Things First, a state organization that funds strategies and initiatives in the areas of early learning, preventive health and family support, will be the beneficiary of a register promotion at all Bashas’ and Food City grocery stores throughout Arizona.

Bashas’ West Valley supermarkets are at 21064 W. Main Street, Buckeye; and 5115 N. Dysart Road, Litchfield Park. Food City is at 323 E. Main Street and 1450 N. Dysart Road, both in Avondale.

Money collected through Monday, September 30, will benefit programs and services designed to help young children from birth to age 5 be ready for kindergarten.

“When voters created First Things First in 2006, their intent was that we partner with local communities to build on their strengths and address some of the gaps in services for children,” First Things First CEO Marilee Dal Pra said. “It is collaborative efforts like this that allow us to maximize our collective resources, knowledge and passion.”

The early childhood years are when the brain grows and develops the most, according to First Things First. In fact, 90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5, before they start kindergarten. And research has shown that a child’s experiences in their early years affect how their brain develops.

“For many years Eddie and Nadine Basha worked to improve conditions for children in the state. They were instrumental in founding and bringing about the First Things First initiative,” said Edward “Trey” Basha, president and CEO of Bashas’ family of stores. “The initiative’s focus on early childhood development is critical and its mission touches every corner of our state. It is a privilege for Bashas’ to have First Things First as our September Charity of the Month. We are grateful for our many customers who will join us in supporting this great organization.”

Research has also proven that kids with quality early childhood experiences do better in school, First Things First reports. They are more likely to go to college and have successful careers. They also tend to be healthier and demand less from the public welfare system.

So, First Things First partners with families and communities to support the healthy development and learning of Arizona’s youngest children. This is done through quality early care and education programs, preventive health efforts and supporting parents in their role as their child’s first teachers.

For more information, visit firstthingsfirst.org.