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NEDSHA to Sponsor Al’s Pals New Teacher Training for Regional Educators

Monroe, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) is set to sponsor the Al’s Pals New Teacher Training for more than 30 regional educators in the Morehouse Community Involvement Organization (MCIO) Head Starts, Ink Head Starts, Tallulah Elementary School, Tallulah Head Starts, Monroe City Schools, and Pinebelt Head Starts. NEDHSA contracted Teaching Strategies, Inc. from Charleston, South Carolina, to train the participants by examining how social-emotional learning can impact overall development and support positive child outcomes. The training is set for Tuesday, August 8, at NEDHSA’s Department of Developmental Disabilities facility at 2324 Armand Connector Drive in Monroe.

NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said, “programs like Al’s Pals offer children solutions and strategies to help overcome early life problems associated with individual, family, and community trauma.”

“If these programs aren’t in place those negative social determinants and adverse health outcomes will continue to follow the children into adulthood,” Dr. Sizer said. “We’re creating ecosystems to help reduce the early onset of mental illness, drug addiction, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, school expulsion, to name a few. We are doing this because we know these things are highly correlated with adult poverty, homelessness, high unemployment, and early death.”

This full-day experience will allow for discussions and interactive experiences; participants will investigate how inclusive environments can support young children’s social-emotional development. Participants will also be introduced to protective factors and will evaluate strategies that foster resiliency and enhance social-emotional learning.

This initiative is led by NEDHSA’s Prevention & Wellness Early Childhood Department. Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices is an early childhood curriculum designed to increase social and emotional competencies in young children. The resiliency-based curriculum provides real-life situations that introduce children to health-promoting concepts and build prosocial skills, such as understanding feelings, accepting differences, caring about others, using self-control, and managing anger.

The Al’s Pals program is fully funded through the NEDHSA and is active in Monroe City Schools, Tallulah Elementary School, Delta Community Action Head Starts in Tallulah, Lake Providence, Rayville, and Delhi Head Starts. Through NEDSHA, Al’s Pals is also served in Pinebelt Head Starts located in Bienville and Jackson Parishes, MCIO Head Starts, and INK Inc. Head Starts in Ouachita Parish, formerly Prime Time. With NEDHSA’s funding, the program is in approximately 100 classrooms serving nearly 1,500 children throughout the region. 

Teaching Strategies helps early childhood educators build nurturing, engaging, and high-quality learning environments designed to support their unique needs throughout the critical, formative years and provide the foundation for success for every child by connecting teachers, children, and families to inspired teaching and learning experiences, informative data, and stronger partnerships through the leading early learning platform and solutions.

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For more information, contact DeRon Talley at (318) 237-9973 or email deron.talley@la.gov.

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Picture of Dr. Monteic A. Sizer
Dr. Monteic A. Sizer

Dr. Monteic A. Sizer serves as Executive Director of Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (Northeast Delta HSA). He joined the organization in May 2013 as its first Executive Director. He is uniquely qualified to advocate on behalf of citizens located in the twelve Northeast Delta HSA parishes he represents because he exemplifies how people can meet their greatest human potential based on accountability, integrity and a willingness to engage in their own lives.

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