The community is engaged.

  • St. Louis Park has 200 trained Asset Champions of all ages to spread the message in all types of organizations in our community and to intentionally build assets in young people.
  • A survey by Decision Resources in 2011 discovered that 54% of residents were aware of Children First, 49% of them were aware of the assets with 47% actively involved in asset building.
  • After more than a decade, the original community partnership of the city, school, faith, health and business communities continues to thrive, focusing together to build a community that supports young people.

Young people are benefiting.

  • For young people in grades 6-12, students report significantly higher average levels of assets in 2001 compared to 1997.
  • On a whole, youth in St. Louis Park reported having about two more assets in 2001 than reported in 1997.
  • Sixth graders surveyed in 2001, have the highest level of assets of any group of sixth graders St. Louis Park has surveyed. These young people have lived in a Children First community their whole lives.
  • The Penn State longitudinal study evaluator stated that it is remarkable that Children First’s community-wide focus was able to move the needle that measures 40 assets in all of its young people.

Reports (pdfs)
St. Louis Park’s longitudinal study-Executive Summary
St. Louis Park’s longitudinal study– Full Report

And we’re sharing what we learn.
Since Children First was launched as the first-ever Healthy Community-Healthy Youth initiative, more than 600 communities have launched similar initiatives. Children First shares what it learns with others. This is done through the Children First website, at the Search Institute national conference and many publications and media outlets.

Children First has been highlighted by;

  • Journal of Adolescence
  • The Journal of Applied Developmental Science
  • The Journal of Community Psychology
  • KSTP TV, Channel 5
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Minneapolis StarTribune
  • 100 Best Communities for Young People book– America’s Promise
  • The Osgood File
  • St. Louis Park Sun-Sailor
  • US News & World Report
  • WCCO TV, Channel 4.

Children First on WCCO news

And the following Search Institute publications and videos:

  • All Kids are Our Kids: What Communities Must Do To Raise Caring and Responsible Children and Adolescents (Jossey-Bass)
  • Developmental Assets and Asset-Building Communities: Research, Theory and Application (Kluwer/Plenum)
  • 40 Assets: 
Start Over, Starting Now – video (Search Institute)
  • Great Places to Learn: Creating Asset-Building Schools That Help Students Succeed (Search Institute)
  • Insights & Evidence: Boosting Student Achievement (download summary)
  • What do Children Need to Flourish? Conceptualizing and Measuring Indicators of Positive Development (Springer Books)
  • You Have to Live It 
Building Developmental Assets in School Communities – video (Search Institute)
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