Core Values

As indispensable to Kids Growing Strong’s success as our unifying mission, vision and goals are our core values—the distinguishing attributes that characterize how we conduct ourselves as leaders committed to delivering tangible, lasting results.

We embrace the following core values that together reflect the way we work toward our mission, with each other, and our communities.

Honesty & Integrity Beyond Reproach:

We believe that organizational integrity forms the foundation of our organization.  We commit to the highest standards of conduct and ethical practice in all of our endeavors and will continually strive for fairness and honesty and exercise integrity beyond reproach.


Kids Growing Strong exists for the public good and believes it is accountable to the public. We are committed to maintaining the public trust. Our organization’s growth is based on interactions that promote mutual trust and respect with our stakeholders and the public. We continually strive to operate openly and transparently with clear accountability to the public as we pursue our mission.


Adherence to the law is the minimum standard of our behavior. Kids Growing Strong shall do more than simply obey the law. KGS embraces the highest standards of integrity. We practice responsible stewardship and efficient use of the resources entrusted to us. We strive to ensure the highest level of organizational effectiveness by continually reviewing our programs and processes to improve quality and efficiency.


We are committed to excellence. Excellence defines who we are and how we conduct our programs. We proactively examine our performance and strive to improve in a never-ending quest to raise our programs to new levels of excellence. We pursue excellence with a passion in all we do.


We truly believe that patience is a virtue. We believe kids should be given time to uncover the joys and secrets to be found in nature. We believe that by moving too quickly, much of the magic and beauty of life can be missed. In this hectic world, we strive to slow things down to help children to grow fully rather than quickly.

Innovative Thinking:

Our organization grows through innovative thinking.  We are not constrained by fixed ideas.  We learn from the past, but are not limited by it.  We proactively approach challenges and opportunities with innovative thinking to develop creative solutions while managing risk.  We value innovative thinking that has the potential to expand our programs and better serve our stakeholders.

Creativity and Expression:

We believe that creative expression is a basic human need and we are dedicated to connecting children with their ability to create and to express themselves. Through helping children access their innate creativity and expression, we believe they will become intrinsically motivated to learn and more fully engaged in life.

Diversity & Balance:

We are inclusive and supportive, both internally and externally emphasizing collaborative effort. We respect and build upon individual differences and perspectives. We are sensitive to diverse backgrounds and beliefs, and we value the unique contributions that each person can make to our cause. We give all individuals an opportunity to be heard and to benefit from our programs.

Connection With Nature:

We believe that an awareness of, and respect for, the world in which they live in imperative for the future of a wholesome environment in which children can thrive. We believe that helping children connect with nature, in all of its beauty, complexity and fragility, contributes greatly to their creative, intellectual and emotional development as well as to their their understanding of the systems in nature that form the basis for life on earth.

Respect for Youth:

We believe that children and youth are our most precious resources. We believe in an approach to youth development that builds assets and empowers individuals. We foster leadership, engaging children and youth to give service and make decisions in a democratic society.

Giving Back:

We believe that we are very lucky to be living in this time and place with people who care for us. We believe that the joy of giving is even greater than the joy of receiving and strive to foster this joy in children.


Volunteerism is the heart and soul of our organization.  We appreciate the myriad contributions of our volunteers, and recognize the power of “thank you.”  We value the power of good that volunteers can achieve. We seek to promote and encourage volunteerism among our stakeholders and the youth we serve.

Family & Friends:

We believe that the support of family and friends is crucial. We aim to enrich parents’ and other adults’ lives by expanding their skills and knowledge set and encouraging them to share their talents and build relationships with kids. We believe that the best youth development occurs where kids are actively involved in creating their own learning experience with their friends and family.


We believe the greatest influence on a child is the family and the greatest influence on the family is the community. We recognize the importance of working with a wide range of community organizations to better serve our children.  We are committed to forging partnerships that combine diverse strengths, skills and resources. We value the input we receive from our community partners. We know that lasting success depends upon working together cooperatively and constructively.

Commitment to the Future:

We commit ourselves, individually and collectively, to draw on the best available science and most effective methods of communication to have brighter, healthier children and a better world.