Violence Prevention

Early and persistent aggressive and antisocial behavior, unchecked by age six, is a key risk factor for future violence, and underscores the importance of prevention initiatives that target young children. Al’s Pals:Kids Making Healthy Choices is a comprehensive violence prevention program for children ages 3-8 years. Across demographically varied populations, children who participate in Al’s Pals are less likely to exhibit aggressive and antisocial behavior than children who do not participate. Preliminary evaluation of Al’s Caring Pals: A Social Skills Toolkit for Home Child Care Providers indicates similar positive results for children in participating home-based child care settings.

Through Al’s Pals lessons and Al’s Caring Pals activity cards, young children learn to identify and manage feelings, stop and think before acting, develop positive friendship skills, solve problems in peaceful ways, and use healthy methods to cope. Al’s Pals also includes lessons that point out the importance of not touching knives and guns, and instruct children to seek adult assistance. Trained Al’s Pals educators and Al’s Caring Pals child care providers learn strategies to craft nurturing environments that reflect protective factors and support the development of children’s social skills. Here, Now and Down the Road . . . Tips for Loving Parents sessions provide parents with strategies to build these same skills in their children and foster children’s resilient development.

As children gain skills, their classroom, child care, and home environments increasingly reflect caring, cooperation, and respect. These environments foster children’s prosocial choices, healthy decision-making, and peaceful problem-solving.