Early Childhood
​​​•Al's Pals:
Kids Making Healthy Choices

•Pre-School Monart

The first five years of life are a critical time of development - especially social/emotional development which is a key foundation block for early learning. Through its partnerships with 30 early childhood centers Alternatives supports the social/emotion development of young children by providing visual art instruction, teacher training, and curriculum resources to center staff. Partnering centers include: ​​​
  • Al's Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices
  • HCAT

Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices is a nationally recognized curriculum that includes easy-to-implement lesson plans, puppets, music, role play, brainstorming, storytelling, and other interactive approaches. Children who participate in Al’s Pals are 2-5 times more likely to demonstrate pro-social skills than children who do not participate in Al’s Pals. This project is also coordinated with Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula Coalition and the Virginia Star Quality Initiative.

Al's Pals Participating Centers

-Beginnings Academy of Learning
-Bethel CDC
-Bethel-Manor Elementary School
-Bob and Jean Russ CDC
-Children of the Village
-Denbigh Christian Academy
-Downtown Hampton CDC
-Eagles Nest
-Hampton University CDC
-Hidenwood Presbyterian
-Arms of the King
-Joint Base Langley/Eustis – Madison
-Joint Base Langley/Eustis – Pershing
-Little Tin Soldiers
-New Mount Olive Christian Academy
-Tom and Ann Hunnicutt YMCA
-HRCAP – Newport News
-HRCAP – Mallory
-HRCAP – Portsmouth

Civic Leadership
Preschoolers in a group looking forward
HCAT Alternatives, Inc. will provide training and technical assistance to community, faith, and military based centers to assess organizational practices and improve nutrition and physical activity of children. HCAT aims to formalize the structure of the early childhood network to improve opportunities for healthy foods and physical activity for children 2-8 and institutionalize changes in policy and practice. Examples will include training in best practices of nutrition and physical activity, creating center policy to promote healthy snacks and celebrations, examining current menus to support better nutrition, role modeling, and how to increase physical activity in the classroom.

HCAT Participating Centers
-Agape Learning Center
-Downtown Hampton CDC
-Bob and Jean Russ CDC
-HRCap Head Start – Newport News
-Hampton University CDC
-New Mount Olive Christian Academy
-Six House
-Tick Tock Around the Clock
-Warwick Kids Academy
-Williamsburg James City County Headstart