Seven elementary-aged students sit on desks in their classroom, holding stuffed bears and grinning.

by Jennifer Grant

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year. “

This was the first New Year’s quote I saw and it made me think about all of the programs and services Compass Mark provides to the community, what has been accomplished and what challenges lie ahead.

Our Leaders of Future Generations program now serves Reynolds and Lincoln Middle schools, School District of Lancaster, while starting our second year in Landis Run (Manheim Township).  We will continue to guide these student groups to create and facilitate service projects for their schools, increasing the awareness among students and staff showing that just because these leaders are young, does not mean they can’t do something amazing.  The next step is to consider how can we expand our leadership program to continue to engage the students who have already completed a service project, perhaps as an after-school club, a summer program or during the school day.

Other school-based programs, such as Lions Quest and We Know BETter, met the needs of many schools, providing both small group and full classroom curriculums. Our next task is to establish a process in which we can better assist school personnel in identifying students who would benefit from our programs, especially our Supporting Students Exposed to Trauma curriculum (SSETS). Some schools have already launched or are exploring initiatives to establish a trauma-sensitive learning environment.

Last year, Compass Mark worked to expand the number of community supports and grassroots groups, currently including nineteen, and will continue to make important connections to promote our work and support others as well.

Our Information & Referral services acquired access to an additional call center for detox services when assisting people without insurance coverage. All are which listed in the 2019 Lancaster County Guide to Getting Alcohol & Drug Treatment. The ongoing goal of Information & Referral is matching clients with the appropriate supports or services based on what is most helpful and relevant to where the client is now. New addiction support approaches and resources continue to be studied and reviewed so we have all the most current and effective options for referral.

The task of educating the public about the disease of addiction and the prevention of addiction is challenging. Changing attitudes can be difficult and time consuming, but getting people engaged on solutions may not be as hard. We strive to deliver the message in various ways so that it can be heard and accepted from people with different perspectives.

Each of our programs have continued goals as well as new approaches to generate new paths forward. No doubt that 2019 will indeed show that we bring a great deal to this New Year in the hopes of continued success and expanding outreach.