Al’s Pals

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Program description

Al’s Pals, offered by Wingspan Works, provides a lesson-based approach to SEL. It includes programming for grades PreK-3 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness in preK.

      • SEL lessons
      • Relationship building
      • SEL generalization
      • Family Intervention Component
      • Activities and Resources for Home
    • Onsite in-person training
    • Virtual training
    • Offsite training
    • Train the trainer model
    • Administrator support
    • Coaching
    • Technical assistance
    • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
    • Online resource library
    • Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
    • Observational tools
    • Tools for measuring student success

Evidence of effectiveness

Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) evaluation carried out in the 1996-1997 school year (published in 2004) supported the effectiveness of the Al’s Pals program for young students. This evaluation included 399 Pre-kindergarten students enrolled in 33 Head Start classrooms in the US Midwest (approximately White = 50%, Black = 25%, Other/Mixed race = 25%; low income = 100%). This evaluation found that students receiving the program increased in teacher-reported social independence, as well as decreased in emotional distress (i.e., anxiety, somatic problems), attention problem behaviors, and social withdrawal problem behaviors compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported approximately 7 months after pre-test while controlling for outcome pre-test). Additionally, students receiving the program experienced less attenuated inclines in teacher-reported explosive problem behaviors and antisocial behaviors compared to students in the control group.

  • Evidence shown in grades
    School characteristics
      • Suburban
      • Midwest
    Student characteristics
    • Black / African American
    • White
    • Multi-racial / other
    • Low income
    Percentage Low Income
    • Enrolled in Headstart: 100%
    Study design type
    • RCT
    Greater than 350 students included in study design type
    • Yes
    Multiple school districts included at study design type
    • Yes
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced emotional distress
    • Improved identity development and agency
    • Reduced problem behaviors
    • Improved school climate
    • Improved school connectedness
    • Improved social behaviors
    • Improved teaching practices
    • Improved other SEL skills and attitudes

How does Al’s Pals support SEL implementation across multiple settings?

“Al’s Pals is a comprehensive early childhood preventive intervention that supports the social-emotional learning and development of young children within classroom, afterschool, and home settings. Classroom teachers deliver the program as well as support and information for families to model and reinforce the concepts at home. ”
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