Stories that Soar

Angelo Chavez, far right, reacts during a Stories that Soar show at Robison Magnet Elementary School. Stories that Soar, a program of Literacy Connects, performed stories written by children from the school.

PHOTOS BY Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX — The well-being of Arizona kids is among the worst in the nation for the second year in a row.

KPHO-TV reports new data from the Children's Action Alliance ranked Arizona 46th in the nation based on factors like early childhood education.

Data shows about a quarter of Arizona's children are living in poverty. More than two thirds of those eligible for preschool in the state are not enrolled.

Kelley Murphy is the alliance's director of early childhood education policy. She says positive experiences early on can create better outcomes for kids.

She said these kinds of reports help emphasize the importance of funding programs that give kids a head start.

The state improved most statistics analyzed in the report, including rates of pregnancy and substance abuse among teens.