Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices

Evidence Rating:
Promising – One investigate Promising - One study

Program Goals/Target Population
Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices is an early childhood curriculum designed to boost a protecting cause of amicable and romantic cunning in immature children and to diminution a risk cause of early and dynamic charge or eremitic behavior. The resiliency-based curriculum is designed to yield real-life situations that broach children to health-promoting concepts and build prosocial skills, such as bargain feelings, usurpation differences, caring about others, regulating self-control, and handling anger.

Program Theory
The module follows a grounds that inserted during a early years when children are combining patterns of behaviors and attitudes can revoke a odds that they will after rise aggressive, antisocial, or aroused behavior. Al’s Pals is formed heavily on resiliency investigate as a horizon for building an intervention. The module curriculum is designed to build resiliency by presenting children with real-life situations that broach them to health-promoting concepts and prosocial skills. The module also recognizes a ongoing inlet of resilience building and trains teachers to use resilience-promoting concepts in their classroom government practices (Lynch, Geller, and Schmidt 2004).

Program Activities
Al’s Pals uses 46 interactive lessons that learn children how to use certain ways to demonstrate feelings, report to others, communicate, brainstorm ideas, solve problems, and compute between protected and vulnerable substances and situations. Lessons are delivered twice a week over 23 weeks. Each doctrine lasts 15 to 20 mins and typically consists of dual or 3 activities, including puppet-led discussions, brainstorming, purpose plays, and guided artistic play. Three strange puppets (Al, Ty, and Keisha) are used by teachers to strengthen prosocial function and demonstrate transparent messages that a use of violence, drugs, and ethanol is not acceptable. The puppets lead discussions and activities designed to assistance children use removing along with others and creation protected and healthy choices.

Some of a lessons embody parental involvement. Teachers frequently send home curriculum letters from Al to refurbish relatives about a skills and lessons their children are learning, and to advise activities that can be finished during home to strengthen those concepts. “Al-a-Gram” messages can also be sent home so children who arrangement specific Al’s Pals skills, such as regulating kind words, can be famous during home by their parents.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Overall, a formula were mixed. Lynch, Geller, and Schmidt (2004) found a impasse organisation softened significantly on measures of social–emotional competence, prosocial skills, and some measures of coping, though there was no alleviation in problem behaviors during a posttest. At a same time, a control organisation showed no poignant improvements in measures of social–emotional competence, prosocial skills, and coping, and indeed showed aloft ratings of problem behaviors during a posttest.

Social–Emotional Competence and Prosocial Skills
From pretest to posttest, classrooms that perceived a Al’s Pals impasse showed poignant certain changes in social–emotional cunning and prosocial skills formed on measures from a Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scale (PKBS) and Child Behavior Rating Scale-30. The control classrooms showed no poignant changes on these measures.

The impasse organisation saw poignant certain changes in measures of certain coping and “distract/avoid” from a Teacher Report of Child Coping. However, there was no poignant change on a magnitude of disastrous coping. The control organisation did not make any statistically poignant changes on any measures of coping.

Problem Behaviors
The impasse classrooms showed no poignant changes on any of a problem function measures from a PKBS. The control classroom did uncover poignant changes, though in a wrong direction. That is, a control organisation showed significantly aloft normal ratings on measures of problem behaviors during a finish of a propagandize year than it did during a commencement of a propagandize year.

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Evaluation Methodology

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Lynch, Geller, and Schmidt (2004) conducted an initial investigate in a vast Head Start module in Lansing, Michigan, during a 1996–1997 propagandize year. Thirty-three classrooms were comparison and incidentally reserved to accept a Al’s Pals curriculum or to offer as controls. Seventeen classrooms (n=218 children) were incidentally reserved to a impasse organisation and 16 classrooms (n=181 children) were incidentally reserved to a control group.

There were no poignant differences between a impasse and control groups on age, gender, or race/ethnicity. The normal age of a children during module entrance was 52.3 months for a impasse organisation and 52 months for a control group. For a impasse group, a gender relapse was 50 percent masculine and 50 percent female, while a control organisation had 51.5 percent boys and 48.5 percent girls. The whole representation of children was approximately 50 percent white, 25 percent African American, and 25 percent Hispanic, biracial, or of other ethnicities.

Child outcomes were totalled regulating a Child Behavior Rating Scale-30 (CBRS-30), a Teacher Report of Child Coping (TRCC), and a Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scale (PKBS). The CBRS-30 is comprised of 30 equipment and is a revised chronicle of a CBRS-20. The instrument assesses aspects of children’s function reflecting social–emotional competence. Sample equipment assessed embody suitable countenance of feelings, proof of self-control, and use of prosocial methods of interpersonal problem solving. The TRCC measures changes in children’s coping styles over a march of a study. Scale equipment report 5 opposite coping strategies (Seeking Support, Instrumental Coping, Venting, Aggression, and Distract/Avoid). The PKBS comprises 76 equipment and dual vital beam measuring Social Skills and Problem Behaviors. All 3 instruments magnitude child behaviors on Likert scales.

Results were examined by 3 sets of analyses. The initial was eccentric t-tests, that assessed differences between a impasse and control groups on any of a measures during a study’s outset. The second was interconnected t-tests, that examined within-group changes from pretest to posttest. Finally, steady measures research of opposite dynamic either a dual groups altered likewise opposite time on any of a measures, from pretest to posttest. The section of research was classroom means. The pretest was administered during a commencement of a propagandize year and a posttest was administered during a finish of a propagandize year.

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Implementation Information

top borderAl’s Pals training is supposing by Wingspan, a developer and inhabitant distributor of a program. The core training is compulsory for all educators who will broach a program. Information on a training can be found on a company’s Web site. Training is accessible in dual formats: 1) face-to-face training conducted over 2 days, or 2) live, online training consisting of 7 sessions, any durability approximately 2 hours. Both options are accessible for people and groups.

Curriculum materials are distributed on execution of a core training. Each classroom requires a possess curriculum kit. The pack includes dual finish sets of a 46-lesson curriculum; 3 strange puppets; easy-to-follow puppet scripts; 12 strange songs on CD; an oversized songbook; 38 tone photographs of real-life situations; 14 sets of primogenitor letters (also accessible in Spanish); 8 opposite “Al-a-Grams”; Calm Down and Problem-Solving posters; 2 children’s books; and tone certificates of module execution for a children.

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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

top borderThese sources were used in a growth of a module profile:

Study 1
Lynch, Kathleen Bodisch, Susan R. Geller, and Melinda G. Schmidt. 2004. “Multi-Year Evaluation of a Effectiveness of a Resilience-Based Prevention Program for Young Children.” The Journal of Primary Prevention 24(3):335–53.

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Additional References

top borderThese sources were used in a growth of a module profile:

Lynch, Kathleen Bodisch. 1998. Results of Michigan Replication Study 1996–97: Child Outcomes. Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices. Richmond, Va.: Virginia Institute for Development Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lynch, Kathleen Bodisch, Susan R. Geller, and Denise R. Hunt. 1998. “Successful Program Development Using Implementation Evaluation.” Journal of Prevention Intervention in a Community 17(2):51–64.

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