The purpose of this article is to show that there are many ways for youth to be engaged in the community, and that they can make a difference.
Atascadero LIGHTHOUSE Programs
Executive Director Donn Clickard
As the bustle and excitement of summer fades and the calendar pages flip to autumn, we frequently seek solace in our daily routines and things that are familiar to us. The Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) has been in session for almost a month, and the hallways are buzzing with enthusiasm as students see old friends, make new ones, and learn about the expectations and routines of new instructors and the next grade level.
Teachers and administrators have worked hard to prepare their classrooms and campuses for the kids’ arrival. The Atascadero Greyhound Foundation (AGF) Board of Directors and members of the LIGHTHOUSE Committee have also been planning for the new school year in order to offer our community’s support to our children and make this year a success.
The Annual Wayne Cooper Memorial Golf Tournament is a major emphasis for our Board in the autumn. The proceeds from this tournament will be used to support the LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero Mentor Program (LAMP), which is being implemented at the Atascadero Middle School (AMS), as well as our financial commitment to the counselor who is assigned to the PEI Team, which serves our middle school students at the AMS and the Fine Arts Academy.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
In addition to AMS, proceeds from the event benefit the Paloma Creek High School Wellness Center Counselor, ACE Academy, and the student-run LIGHTHOUSE Coffee Company. The golf event will take place on October 9th. To register, teams should contact Jeremy at Chalk Mountain Golf Course. If you aren’t a golfer, you can still help by making a direct contribution or buying a ball for the Ball Drop; the winner will get $1,000.00! Atascaderogreyhoundfoundation.org, you may make donations and buy ball drop tickets online.
Some may wonder why these initiatives are so vital. The AGF’s goal is to raise drug use awareness, prevention, intervention, and education among our community’s young. According to new statistics published by San Luis Obispo Area Behavioral Health, the number of opioid overdose fatalities in our county has increased by 64% since 2016. The lethal fentanyl poison is becoming more prevalent. Fentanyl was found in 18% of all opioid overdose fatalities in 2016. By 2022, that figure will have risen to 62 percent.
Prevention, as we all know, is difficult to quantify. The California Healthy Kids Survey data (2017-18 and 2019-20) shows that 100% of our secondary students in AUSD self-reported never taking heroin, which is not the case countywide. This is an indication that our message is reaching our kids. We offer and support programs that aim to prevent as many adolescents as possible from getting engaged with drugs and other substance use by giving healthy leisure options and counseling for those who are impacted by stressful situations. We also provide assistance and intervention to young people who are dealing with substance abuse. The more drug-free kids we have in our community, the more healthy and flourishing youth we will have in our community, learning to become the healthy adults of tomorrow.
We encourage you to participate and contribute to the solution.
If you are interested in assisting, please contact us at atascaderogreyhoundfounation.org; assistance comes in many ways.
As an example:
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