Children’s First program brings community together to discuss climate change

Roots and Shoots members speak on behalf of climate action

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Anna Benishek

Junior Sophie Yakes speaks on behalf for the club Roots and Shoots during the Children's First Champion Breakfast March 5 at Double Tree Park Place Hotel. Yakes said she wants to promote awareness to citizens of St. Louis Park on how to take action.

Anna Benishek

Junior Roots and Shoots member Sophie Yakes said it’s important for students’ voices to be heard at the Children’s First Champion Breakfast because the community can benefit from them.

“I am speaking on behalf of all the students for climate action and also because this is a room full of really inspiring leaders in our community that could really benefit from this,” Yakes said.

The Children’s First website said the program wants to help engage adults in St. Louis Park to actively participate in the growth of youth.

According to Debbie Wells, interim director of Children’s First, the theme of the event this year was creating a sustainable future and there were a few different meanings to sustainable.

“The first one we had in mind was the sustainability of our environment and our world and our ecosystems,” Wells said. “But also we have to keep in mind that the work of Children’s First which is promoting development assets in youth.”

Junior Ella Miller said the breakfast event is important, as it informs residents of St. Louis Park that small actions help more than they think.

“It helps to show people how to help the children in the community and what we can do to help within our school district and also what you can do as an individual and what big of an impact you can make,” Miller said.

According to Yakes, she wants people to be educated about ways to take action in their local community to slow down global warming and actively change their lifestyle to improve the environment.

“I’m speaking on taking action in the community and I really hope that people take my tips into consideration and that we can all collectively be able to change,” Yakes said.

Wells said this event was a time for the community to connect and discuss the youths’ involvement.

“It’s an opportunity for 350 prominent citizens in the city to get a showcase experience about the successes of youth, especially around the Children’s First philosophy which focuses on assets in youth,” Wells said.

According to Miller, the city of St. Louis Park creates a supportive environment, allowing for many programs such as Children’s First to thrive in the community.

“It’s the great community that we have here. Without St. Louis Park, I don’t know if there would be a program quite like this,” Miller said.