In September 2020, the AGF Planning Committee met to review our current programs and needs of the community. Due to changes in the bell schedule at AHS and the needs of the population at AMS, we are making adjustments to the current structure of the Lighthouse Atascadero Mentoring Program (LAMP) for the 2021-22 school year. AGF is collaborating with AUSD to embark on a mentor program that involves 8 th graders mentoring the incoming 6 th graders. The AMS has adopted and is currently preparing to implement the Where Every Body Belongs - Onboarding Program, offered by the Boomerang Project. This research based program is grounded on the belief that students can help student succeed. It uses trained 8th graders as positive role models that create connections with the 6th graders that focus on social and academic success. This program is designed for implementation with students who attend in person or virtually.
For the past 12 years, with funding from the Mental Health Services Act and SLO County Behavioral Health, the at-risk students at the middle school have been served by the Prevention and Early Intervention Team comprised of a half-time licensed counselor and a half-time family advocate. The data shows that this program has been effective at connecting students to the services they need, reducing their risk factors, and increasing students’ perception of the harm of substance use; while increasing family, social, and academic engagement. In order to keep the caseload manageable and serve students on the waiting list, the AGF Board has also committed to fund an additional half-time counselor at AMS for a minimum of three years. The AGF Board would like to thank SLO County Behavioral Health and the AUSD/AMS administration and staff for their support and dedication to these two programs.