Children First Frequently Asked Questions

The beauty of Children First is that it does not have a lot of structure. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Children First.

Q: How does Children First operate?
A: Children First comes alive in St. Louis Park through the Asset Champions Network. The network is comprised of individuals who represent the places where they live, work, volunteer or go to school. Their role is to become the asset experts in their organizations, train others and discuss what they currently do and could do to build assets.

Asset Champions are ages 9 through senior citizens and from all types of organizations. The Asset Champions Network is intentional about spreading the asset-building philosophy community wide. For more info click on the Asset Champions page.

Q: What is the Executive Committee?
A: The Executive Committee is responsible for the integrity of the organization, ensuring Children First is true to its mission. This group is also responsible for funding.

Q: Is there a staff?
A: There is one paid staff person, the Children First coordinator. The coordinator is responsible for spreading the word about Children First in St. Louis Park and encouraging individuals and organizations to act on their asset building impulses. Currently this is done by working with the Asset Champions who are determining how to embed asset building in their organizations. The coordinator works for Children First, not another organization in the community.

Q: How is Children First funded?
A: Children First operates on approximately $75,000 annually. All money for the initiative is raised, primarily from private donors, community groups and foundations. Many wonderful people and organizations provide in-kind contributions such as office spaced, printing, graphics work, furniture and web page design! Park Nicollet Foundation serves as Children First’s fiscal agent. You can help by giving online today. Select Children First from the “Designation” drop down menu.

Q: What is the key to Children First’s success?
A: Those involved in Children First agree, the key to the initiative’s success is that it is based in a multi-sector partnership. Children First has volunteer co-chairs.

Children First co-chairs include a young person who works with an adult. Adult co-chairs have been representatives from education, health care, the city and the clergy.

No one organization has ownership of Children First, the whole community does. Rather than running programs, Children First has stayed true to its mission of spreading the asset building philosophy throughout St. Louis Park.

(Note: Children First is a fluid initiative. Some of the things mentioned on this website live on, others have been modified and yet others are no longer.)

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