My Root for Kids Story: Class of 2019

On May 20, 2019 we celebrated over 100 children graduating from Root for Kids programs. Kids aging out of the programs between January and July are invited for a Spring Graduation event organized by Root for Kids. This graduation, we asked the parents to share a little bit about their journey with Root for Kids with us! Check out a few of the stories.

Hardy Family

“When we moved to the area in 2018, we had five children under 6 and one on the way. The love, support and guidance given by Root for Kids made this transition so much better. Our children love the visits and we feel like RFK is more friends and family than “just” a program. Our daughters and sons have truly grown with RFK and we love it!”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

Day Family

“My son was brought into the program worried that he might be behind on some skills. One year later he is graduating and is testing above average across the board! Thanks Root for Kids :)”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

Webb Family

“Hazel is the #10 child in our family and she was born with Down syndrome. We have absolutely loved the Root for Kids program. I am positive that Hazel has done so much better with the help of her specialists! I have grown to love each and every one of people, and so has Hazel. She has excelled in speech therapy, physical therapy and continues to amaze us each day. Thank you so much for giving our child this head start!”

Adams Family

“Being in a Root for Kids program has been one of the very best decisions we’ve made for out three children. Two of my kids weren’t able to speak very well and it was quite frustrating. With the help of many different RFK employees we’ve come so far, and found much great accomplishments and major growth. We love RFK, they are true heroes.”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

Gómez Family

“My Root for Kids story has been special for many reasons. I didn’t know about this program until my fourth child out of five, so I can tell the difference in the development of my son who was in the program compared to my three older children who were not. I can also notice the difference in us parents with what we have learned. Our family is very grateful for the program and for everyone who makes it possible for it to happen. Thank you very much for everything.”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

We love working with children and their families and help them receive the best start in life. You can also make a big impact in their lives by supporting Root for Kids! There are many ways to give – purchase tickets to The Secret Garden Gala, become a sponsor, donate an auction item, purchase a book or an item from our wish list.


2019 Utah Families Connect: Fit Kid Fair

Every year, Root for Kids joins all Parents as Teachers programs in Utah for the Utah Families Connect event. The theme this year at Root for Kids was developing healthy habits. Thus, staff prepared and served a healthy dinner, planned obstacle courses for the kids and offered parent/child yoga classes. About 50 families and 150 children came to event! Also, several organizations were invited to table at the event to provide community resources for the families. Check out our favorite moments from the Fit Kid Fair below.


Everyone loved the smoothie station at the event. Try them at home!

If you are interested in the Parents as Teachers program, fill out a referral form online.


Free Spring Events in the St. George Area

Spring is finally here! It’s the perfect time to be outside with the family before it gets too hot. There are so many activities and events to choose from that it can be hard to keep track of all of them. To make planning easier for you, we rounded up our favorite free spring events below. Follow the link in the heading to see the Facebook event.

St. George Streetfest

April 5, 2019

Every year St. George Streetfest brings together performers, artists, food trucks and crafters downtown St. George. The events happen every first Friday of the month from March through December from 6:00 pm to Midnight. The big highlight of this year is the new Silent Disco Party for all ages!  

Festival de la Primavera de Juan

April 6, 2019

The radio’s annual spring festival features free live music and entertainment as well as opportunities to win prizes. Everyone is invited! This year La Sonora Tropicana and Banda Arkangel R15 will present at the festival.

Movie in the Plaza: Mary Poppins Returns

April 6, 2019

Bring your blanket and enjoy free movie and popcorn on the lawn.

Dixie Power Kite Festival

April 13, 2019

The Kite Festival has been around for 20 years and it’s a St. George classic family event. Entrance, parking, entertainment and some of the children games are free of cost (other children activities are $1 to $4).

Ivins City Easter Egg Hunt

April 20, 2019

The Ivins City Easter Egg Hunt will be at UNITY Park following the Hog & Jog 5K. Children up to 12 years old are allowed in the hunting area (parents may give guidance and direction to children 4 years old and younger, but they must be able to walk and pick eggs without assistance). Don’t forget to bring your own Easter basket!

La Verkin City Easter Egg Hunt

April 20, 2019

Free Easter Egg Hunt at Wanlass Park in LaVerkin.

RedStone – Highland Games & Festival

April 20, 2019

Sandtown Park in St. George will host the first ever Highland Games & Festival this April! This fun Scottish celebration will feature traditional games, entertainment, dancers and Celtic vendors.

Cotton Days

April 23 to April 28, 2019

Another traditional event in the area is the Washington City Cotton Days. The week is packed with events and activities such as rodeo, movie in the park, 5K, parade, car show and much more. Most of the activities are free! Check out their event page for more information.

Spending quality time as a family is important to build strong relationships with your children. See how you can help over 600 families in Washington County every week.


New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program

Since 2002, Root for Kids partners with the Dixie State University Dental Hygiene program to provide free oral health services to children and pregnant moms enrolled in Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers. This year we expanded that partnership to include The University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) program! On March 22, 2019 they joined us for the first time at our Root for Kids Dental Hygiene Clinic Day.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids
New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

At the last clinic, 17 Root for Kids clients received cleanings, oral cancer screenings and got their vital signs checked. All children received topical fluoride and parents received education on oral care for themselves and their families. In addition, all participants received an age-appropriate oral kit for coming to the clinic. The U of U PA students worked together with DSU Dental Hygiene students on the patient’s health history and oral cancer screening. This collaboration is amazing as the students are learning from each other. They referred two adults out for services with a volunteer dentist and one child to an oral surgeon.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids
New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

The students were supervised by staff and by Dr. Butler, Dr. Scholzen and Dr. Gutierrez, volunteer dentists. We are grateful for their time and passion as we would not be able to do this work without them. Root for Kids staff arranged their schedules to make sure they were there with the families they serve. They also provided interpretation for the Spanish-speaking families!

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids
New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

The services the PA students can offer is only going to grow for our Root for Kids families. We are excited for other special events we are going to host with them! To help support more events and partnerships like this, check out how you can become a sponsor.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

The Gift of Reading

One of the best gifts we can give kids is a love for reading and then nurture that love. Book ownership increases literacy rates, which positively impact a child’s health, learning skills, life expectancy, and lifetime income. Needless to say, children’s books can change lives.

Our Early Head Start Literacy Program encourages enrolled parents to read at least 3 hours a month to their child. They record their hours and then we reward them with a book that has been donated. Last year the program piloted with 34 children and the average was 7.7 hours of reading per child. We give one book a month for each child enrolled and with 132 Early Head Start slots, our goal is to reward 132 books a month!

A post shared by Root for Kids (@rootforkids) on

March is National Reading Month, and Root for Kids is excited to announce a new partnership with Usborne Books & More. Here are a few ways you can help Root for Kids get books for the thousands of children we serve every year:

Purchase books for the kids in your life

When you purchase books for your kids, grandchildren, or any child in your life, Root for kids will receive 50% in FREE books! Example: When you purchase $50 in books for children in your life, Root for kids will receive $25 in books.

  1. Visit www.B5637.myubam.com to purchase.
  2. Click Shop and Select “Root for Kids” as your event. You MUST select the event name “Root for Kids” for them to receive their books.

Purchase books directly for Root for Kids

Root for kids will receive the books you purchase plus receive an additional 50% in FREE books.

  1. Visit www.B5637.myubam.com to purchase.
  2. Click Shop and Select “Root for Kids” as your event. You MUST select the event name “Root for Kids” for them to receive their books.
  3. Choose books you’d like to purchase for Root for Kids and under shipping select “Ship with Organization” and your books will be delivered to Root for Kids directly.
    • Book suggestions: select books from the category “Age Levels” – Babies & Toddlers or Preschool & Kindergarten.

Donate money to Root for Kids specifically to purchase books

There are so many options on the website that it can be hard to choose. You can always donate directly to Root for Kids and we will purchase the books we need. Books range between $1.99 to $79.99 (sets)

  1. Fill out the online donation form at rootforkids.org/donate/
  2. Add “Usborne Books” to the comment box


5 Dental Tips to Teach Kids

Did you know that tooth decay and other oral health diseases are mostly preventable? Still, 42% of children in the U.S. between 2 and 11 years old have had dental caries (tooth decay) in their primary teeth (1). With February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, we have gathered dental tips to teach kids and resources from the American Dental Association to share!

5 Dental Tips to Teach Kids | Root for Kids

1. Be an Example 

Any time we want to teach good behavior to our kids, we start by setting the example. Kids are always copying what adults do, so use that to your advantage! Invite the kids to brush their teeth when you are going to brush yours, show them how you floss, and you can even tell them about your dental appointments. When they see that it is part of your daily routine, they will understand better why it is a part of theirs.

2. Brush Twice a Day 

Brushing might be the single most important thing you’ll do to prevent tooth decay. And you can start cleaning your kid’s teeth as soon as the first one comes out! It’s recommended to use a soft cloth for wiping or small soft toothbrush with water until they are 2 years old. Then you can begin brushing with a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste (make sure they spit out the toothpaste).

5 Dental Tips to Teach Kids | Root for Kids
Download Printable PDF

3. Go to the Dentist Every 6 Months

In Utah, untreated tooth decay was found in 19% of children between 6 and 9 years old (2). A lot of times tooth decay is not visible or obvious, that’s why going to the dentist regularly is so important. Your child’s first dentist visit should happen within 6 months of their first tooth and then every six months after that.

5 Dental Tips to Teach Kids | Root for Kids
Download Printable PDF

4. Develop Good Dietary Habits

For healthy teeth, it’s best to skip the sugary drinks and treats. Soda and fruit juice contain a lot of sugar, which directly contributes to tooth decay. Instead, opt for water and healthier snack such as raw vegetables, high-fiber fruits and cheese. Remember to be a good example on this aspect as well!  

5 Dental Tips to Teach Kids | Root for Kids
Download Printable PDF

5. Don’t Share Germs

Bacteria can easily be transmitted through saliva so avoid sharing utensils and cups, and cleaning pacifiers with your mouth instead of using water. These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before babies have teeth! (3) 

Here at Root for Kids, we are grateful to partner up twice a year with dentists, dental hygienists, faculty and students from the Dixie State University Dental Hygiene program to provide a free dental clinic for our clients. Click here to donate and support more initiatives like this. 

5 Dental Tips to Teach Kids | Root for Kids

Sources 

(1) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 

(2) Utah Department of Health 

(3) American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry