AHA! has been credited in bringing a 70% reduction in suspensions at one local high school; in several others, our work has correlated with a notable reduction in truancy and student-to student-violence.
AHA! in-school serves freshmen at Carpinteria, San Marcos, and Santa Barbara High Schools and at-risk youth at Santa Barbara Junior High and La Cuesta Continuation High School. The curriculum we use in those schools focuses on emotional management and prejudice reduction and diversity training while emphasizing empathy and compassion. Within each AHA! classroom session, teen participants are engaged in fun and interactive games, which provide opportunities to get to know classmates better in a playful setting. They participate in brief, teen-friendly, facilitator-led large group lecture/discussions on subjects including how to interrupt cruel and bullying behavior, how to increase awareness around racism, sexism & stereotypes, how to manage emotions, and how to increase compassion for those in different life circumstances. AHA! staff-facilitated small group discussions on
the topics at hand further connect youth across lines of clique, socioeconomic class, and race, knitting classrooms and campuses together to improve climate and reduce ostracism and bullying.