Desert Messenger

April 17, 2013

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N�� �� ��� 9th YEAR! Wednesday, APRIL 17, 2013 VOL. 9 #172 www.DesertMessenger .com • "Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper" • 928-916-4235 541-218-2560 First Things First celebrates importance of early learning in Quartzsite By Dave Hawkins Government proclamations aim to fortify public awareness of the importance of early childhood development as the First Things First (FTF) organization and its partners celebrate the Week of the Young Child April 14-20. FTF was established following 2006 voter approval of an 80-cent cigarette pack tax to prepare children up to five years of age for learning. "We're a school readiness initiative," said Merritt Beckett, Director for the La Paz/Mohave Region for FTF. "What we do is partner with parents and families and other organizations to make sure that all kids come to school healthy and prepared to learn. So, definitely, the mission of the Week of the Young Child, drawing public attention to the importance of the early years, is very aligned with what we do." Beckett said she is pleased that the Quartzsite Town Council and at least five other municipalities, cities and tribal nations are honoring the Week of the Young Child with proclamations. Beckett told the Quartzite Town Council at its meeting April 9 that FTF is distributing $4.2-million to schools and other partners this fiscal year. Part of those funds will be used to establish new preschool programs in Quartzite and Salome which will open this fall. Third graders who do not meet grade-level literacy benchmarks will not be promoted to the next grade when new standards passed by the Arizona legislature will take effect this fall. A quarter of Arizona's fourth graders are not reading at a fourth grade level. Beckett said the best way to combat this problem is to increase the number of quality early learning centers in communities and promote literacy from a young age. Meetings for the First Things First La Paz/Mohave Regional Partnership are held once a month in alternating communities. The public is invited to the next Regional Partnership Council meeting, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Arizona Western College Quartzsite Learning Center, 695 Kofa Avenue. For more information on First Things First, call (928) 854-8732 or visit Suspended Coffee movement spreads to Quartzsite By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear Quartzsite, AZ - Based on an Italian goodwill tradition, Suspended Coffees are pre-paid coffees that enable you to provide a warm coffee to someone who could not afford it. Suspended Coffee is active in many countries and the US; Ireland, Australia, Starbucks in U.K. Jon Bon Jovi has a charity restaurant in New Jersey. Two weeks ago Suspended Coffee reached Taiwan. One woman took it upon herself to give suspended noodles to single parent children, blind mothers, and elderly people living alone. @NathanFil- lion tweeted to over 1 million people supporting Suspended Coffee and it's spreading on Social Media. In Quartzsite, Times Three Family Restaurant has joined the movement, with help from local Dottie Palmer, who introduced the idea. Main Street Laundromat serves free coffee to their customers, and coffee is free with meals, $3 minimum. Isaish 58 Project serves free meals. Time Three Restaurant has a basket at the cash register where customers can donate. Dottie shared the news of Suspended Coffee with a wom- an living in her car. Dottie was surprised when the woman wanted to donate $5 to help out! Quartzsite is full of generous people! Organizers of Suspended Coffees Facebook page stated, "It's called Suspended Coffees, random acts of kindness or paying it forward, but it's so much more. It's about giving and helping those around you. It can be a coffee, a scone some noodles, a bottle of water; the smallest little gesture can make the biggest difference in the world." The page began in January, and already has over 50,000 LIKES worldwide. Organizers continued, "Random acts of kindness are a means by which we make a deliberate attempt to brighten or help another person or stranger's day by doing something thoughtful, caring and concerned for them… The power behind such act is extremely impactful and contagious." Be sure to ask about Suspended Coffee at your local restaurant. April 14-20, 2013 CHECK OUT WHAT'S INSIDE 2 3 6 7 10 12 14 15 16 18 19 20 22 23 New Reality Show? Art Guild Editorial Letters to Editor Around Town Obituaries Voices from the Past Restaurants Assessor's corner Churches Arrest Report Puzzles Paul Winer Comic Classifieds

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