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Beale takes care of military families

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif, -- The month of November brings to mind the thought of falling leaves, cold mornings and of course the holiday of Thanksgiving, but it's also the month of the military family.

There are many programs available on base to support the educational needs of the military family; two of which are the Exceptional Family Member Program and School Liaison Officer Program.

"A lot of people get the wrong impression about Beale, but we're a small town with big resources," said Susan Nichols, 9th Force Support Squadron coordinator of Exceptional Family Member Program at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

An exceptional family member is a family member child or adult with any physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disability that requires special treatment, therapy education, training or counseling.

The EFMP provides information and referral, advocacy, support, special events, educational opportunities and many other services.

"One way we can help families is by providing communication between schools and parents to help meet the educational needs of their children," said Nichols. "We try to empower families through knowledge."

Another resource provided by the AFRC is the School Liaison Officer Program, which provides information to parents regarding schools in the local area.

"With schooling being big part of adolescence life, knowing what school is right for your child is very important," said Annette Goodly, 9th FSS school liaison officer at the AFRC.

The SLO educates parents on what services and programs are available to their children in the surrounding school districts.

"Everything from demographics, after-school sports, teacher to student ratios, or how far away the schools are from the base, I can help," said Goodly.

Goodly regularly attends many school board meetings and functions to keep up to date on what's happening in the local school districts.

Goodly points inquiring families in the direction of the schools that best fit their child's needs and desires. But ultimately she leaves the decision up to the parents.

"No parent should have to wonder about an aspect of their child's education, if we don't have the information or service you seek, we will find someone who does," said Goodly.

For more information, please visit the AFRC website at www.bealeafrc.org or call (530) 634-2863