About

Our Mission

Children First engages adults in St. Louis Park to actively participate in the growth of all our youth.

Our Vision

Children First envisions a future where all children and teens in St. Louis Park have adult support to help them thrive.

Our Goal

By 2022, 4 out of 5 St. Louis Park households will know about Children First and the important role adults play in building strengths in our young people.



Our Core Principles

1. We believe that every adult in St. Louis Park plays a role in helping our youth thrive. We value our diverse community and affirm that everyone has the capacity and responsibility to contribute to the well-being of our kids.

2. We are a community partnership that engages organizations and adults to reflect “Children First” as a key foundation for the culture of our community.

3. We are guided by a philosophy made actionable by 40 scientifically-validated developmental building blocks.

4. We recognize that the adoption of these building blocks, modeled by adults and expressed through our youth, makes our community a better place to live.

5. We know that because Children First principles are roots in the culture of St. Louis Park, our community is a place where all adults and youth have opportunities to work, play and live together.

Our Story

More than two decades ago local leaders and residents chose to make St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a community that through its decisions and actions put Children First. It started in March 1992, when the school superintendent spoke to The Rotary Club of St. Louis Park sharing the challenges facing young people and their families. Two entrepreneurs who were members of the club sought a way to address those challenges.

What transpired was the creation of a partnership among the business, city, faith, health and education communities bringing the community together to support youth–intentionally making connections and building assets.

Children First:

  • Is a philosophy rather than a program.
  • Calls all adults to support St. Louis Park young people.
  • Focuses on positive character-building traits.
  • Targets all St. Louis Park youth, birth through 18 years old.

Our Team

Executive Team

Dr. Mary Wagner, Chair, Children First, Park Nicollet Creekside Clinic

We have a talented and varied group that make up our team that oversees Children First.

View our Executive Committee.

Children First Champions…

are people who live, work or volunteer in St. Louis Park. They are trained and commit to sharing the Children First message with adults in the community.

Learn more.

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