About Us

Welcome to Fun Van!

The first five years are the foundation for the rest of your child’s life. Make them count!

Fun Van is parenting education program supported by First Things First in the Pinal Region. We meet once a week for 11 weeks. Each week we play and learn with parents, caregivers, and children. Each class includes, story time, a craft, playtime, a unique parent session, and a book to keep!

In the parent session, parents and/or caregivers dive into curriculum from two excellent programs.

Program Philosophy:

Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers.

Family-Centered Practices:

Family-centered parent training focuses on family skills training and family activities to help children and parents communicate effectively and take advantage of concrete social supports. It respects the traditions and values of the family and reflects the parents’ learning styles, preferences, and cultural beliefs.

Program Goals:

Preparation – the Parent Educators use the Raising A Reader program to excite children about books and better prepare them for school, and the Early Childhood STEP program to improve family relationships and communication. Examples of the content you will experience include parent-child reading strategies, effective discipline techniques, and ways to nurture emotional and social development, just to name a few.

Empowerment – we hope to support and guide you on your journey.

Socialization – both you and your child will have an opportunity to meet new families from your community.

Bonding – please enjoy quality face time with your children.

Community Resources – we will assist you in connecting to resources in your community that can strengthen your family.

Early Literacy Development through Raising a Reader:

This program can foster a love of books by developing a habit of reading with your child from a variety of quality literature you borrow and return each week. It also teaches parents reading strategies to expand their child’s thinking and promotes language and literacy development.

“Research shows that family engagement directly affects academic achievement. To date, thirty-two independent evaluations prove that Raising A Reader makes a positive and lasting impact, significantly improving both family reading behavior, parent-child bonding and kindergarten readiness across diverse culture and language demographics.”

Raising a Reader. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.raisingareader.org/site/PageNavigator/Impact/PerformanceOutcomes.html

Parent Education using Early Childhood STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting):

This parenting education program, taught in conjunction with Raising a Reader, teaches helpful parenting techniques to improve family communication and encourage cooperation, plus effective discipline strategies that promote self-esteem and mutual respect.

Early Childhood STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) provides training and an opportunity to learn new skills for parents dealing with frequently encountered challenges with their children; promotes a more participatory family structure by fostering responsibility, independence, and competence in children; improves communication between parents and children; and helps children learn from the natural and logical consequences of their own choices.

Systematic Training for Effective Parenting. (2015, November 3). Retrieved from https://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/viewintervention.aspx?id=132