Our Mission

Children First’s mission is to empower children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education and services. ┬áThe mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Vision & Core Values

Our Vision

A community where children and youth are highly valued and are provided the maximum opportunity to reach their full potential.


Our Core Values




Mutual Respect

Community Collaboration


The organization now known as Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County began as Youth Services Action Group with a focus on advocacy work.

Children First is established as a program of the United Way of Asheville-Buncombe County.

The Family Resource Center opens and provides food, clothing, and emergency supports for families living in the Emma Community.

Children First becomes an independent non-profit and provides both direct services and public policy advocacy. It begins its Project POWER/AmeriCorps program.

Children First becomes the Buncombe County affiliate of Communities in Schools, a national dropout prevention network.

Children First/CIS afterschool learning centers open and provides homework assistance for K-5th graders in under-resourced communities.

Children First/CIS begins its Student Support Specialist program at Johnston Elementary, and expanded over the next four years to include five schools total.

Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County is awarded official designation as a Nationally Accredited Affiliate Organization for Communities in Schools.

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