Nine Years of Early Childhood Prevention Programming

Page archived as of November 23, 2015


Recognizing Nine Years of Early Childhood Prevention Programing:
Al’s Pals Has Reached Over 3,400 Alexandria Children

For Immediate Release: January 22, 2013

Over the last nine years, 3,425 Alexandria children aged 3-5 have made great strides in decreasing problem behaviors and developing their social skills, thanks to the friendly puppets in the Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices Program offered by the Department of Community and Human Services.

Al’s Pals is a science-based program that helps develop personal, social and emotional skills through 46 interactive lessons utilizing puppets, songs and engaging activities that teach children to be good decision makers. Al’s Pals teaches lessons such as expressing feelings appropriately, caring about others, using self-control, thinking independently, accepting differences, making safe and healthy choices and solving problems peacefully. The students are able to connect with the puppets and the songs, which helps them to recall and apply key skills and concepts.

Prevention and early intervention programs for young children increase protective factors and decrease significant risk factors, which together help to improve school readiness and positive outcomes across the developmental spectrum. In addition to the Al’s Pals program, the Preschool Prevention Team has provided the following services over the past nine years:

  • Conducted 235 preschool staff workshops and 567 parent workshops and support groups
  • Made 2,641 child and classroom observations
  • Provided 8,818 parent and staff consultations
  • Conducted 2,846 child and family therapy sessions
  • Facilitated 1,188 interactive caregiver/child playgroups

Al’s Pals is implemented in 40 classrooms City-wide, and is made possible by a $63,237 three-year grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. This is the first year of the next three-year grant cycle.

For more information, contact Preschool Prevention Team Supervisor Lib Gillam at 703.746.6009 or