Fontana Unified Student-Police Leadership Program Earns Youth Service Award
Fontana School Police officers Nicole Hauptmann and Amanda Liabeuf pose with the Nonprofit Agency
Award for Fontana Unified’s Junior Fontana Leadership Intervention Program, which helps at-risk
elementary students improve their grades, confidence and social skills.
Fontana Unified’s Junior Fontana Leadership Intervention Program (Jr. FLIP) is being recognized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission (JJDPC) of San Bernardino County for fostering positive behavior and increasing student engagement in and out of classrooms.
The early intervention program, offered through a partnership between Fontana Unified and Fontana School Police, received the Nonprofit Agency Award during the 33rd annual Recognition of Service to Youth Awards on Oct. 11.
“We are extremely proud of Jr. FLIP for the positive impact it has brought to our elementary students and the lasting personal and academic success it has inspired,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Congratulations to the District and to the Fontana School Police for a well-deserved recognition of the hard work they do on behalf of our students.”
After initial success with its high-school program, Jr. FLIP was launched in 2015 to extend support opportunities to younger students. The 16-week program, held twice each school year, focuses on improving grades and building confidence and social skills for at-risk students in fourth through sixth grades.
Jr. FLIP participants attend four-hour classes on 16 Saturday sessions, which focus on topics like the power of education, drug and alcohol resistance, health and fitness, anti-bullying, leadership skill development and teamwork.
Hands-on learning opportunities supplement the classroom session, including a recent community service day at the Mary Vagle Nature Center, physical fitness activities and drug awareness demonstration from a Fontana school police officer and canine partner.
The program also encourages parent engagement through three-hour Saturday classes held over eight weeks, that build upon the student lessons and offer parents a venue to connect with one another.
The Junior Fontana Leadership Intervention Program’s students learn about anger management during
one of the program’s 16 Saturday classroom lessons.
Jr. FLIP’s sixth class consists of 35 students from Almond, Beech, Citrus, Live Oak, Poplar, Redwood and West Randall elementary schools. Classes rotate through each of Fontana Unified’s middle schools, selecting students from the elementary feeder schools based on recommendations from administrators and teachers.
Jr. FLIP trainees will participate in a formal graduation ceremony upon completion of the program, but often remain connected with Fontana police officers once the course ends, Fontana school police Officer Amanda Liabeuf said.
Program graduates who continue to display personal and academic growth will also be selected to attend a weeklong camp in Big Bear over the summer.
“It’s such a rewarding experience to watch these students undergo a positive transformation and to realize that they have a support system ready to help them succeed,” Liabeuf said. “We want students to know that this program is just the beginning, and we are readily available to help them, now and in the future.”