Education and Children First
St. Louis Park School District 283, was an active and early partner in the initiative. This work has earned St. Louis Park the reputation as a model among school districts and community education departments throughout the country.
There are also a dozen private schools in St. Louis Park, many of which have Asset Champions and are committed to the community initiative.
Examples of what schools have done
- Two parents started Day One, a celebration where the community celebrates this annual rite of passage. Day One is now a student organization.
- At one school, all staff and site council meetings start with a piece of Children First news. People share what they have witnessed that helps build assets.
- A private school has had invisible mentors, staff people who stay in touch with students in an informal way.
- The junior high operates on the middle school concept. Seventh and eighth graders are assigned to teams. They have the same teachers for the two years they are at the school enabling them to develop relationships with staff members.
- A private school has Reading Buddies, with 6th graders reading to kindergarten students. The cross-grade connection builds community and fosters a lifelong love of reading.
- A principal writes about asset building in the school’s newsletter to parents.
- A student council started the Golden Apple Award to honor staff that help them. The first recipients were the school’s custodians.
- St. Louis Park High School launched a 9th grade asset-building program (Building Assets Reducing Risks—BARR program) to ease the transition to high school. It’s comprised of several elements that help connect students to school including smaller class sizes, weekly asset building exercises and a social worker and counselor dedicated to the freshmen class.