Project Description


Renée Verbanic
Elizabeth Shahan


Fairmont Catholic School and Project SUCCESS



Phone Number:



Other Projects

HALO: Healthy Alternatives for Little Ones
A 12 activity program for EARLY LEARNERS in pre-school, K or 1st grade.

Problem: Early learners are often confused about what is healthy and what is harmful to their bodies. This easy 12 activity program helps them understand that they have healthy options. Parents provide the healthy role modeling and training is easy and uncomplicated.

Project Description: HALO (healthy alternatives for little ones) is an easy 12 visit program with fun, short, engaging, hands-on activities for ages 4-5-6. Parent/grandparent/guardian volunteers are gleaned from parent organizations, prevention coalitions or faith communities. Training in this stellar early learning project is provided by a 30 minute DVD. At the end of the 12 activities students will be able to know what it takes to “grow bigger, stronger and better able to think.”

How the project got started: HALO has been recognized throughout the USA as an evidence based curriculum, teaching healthy attitudes and building life skills to pre-school learners. It has been implemented in WV in after school programs as well as Head Starts and Early Learning classes in several counties. The kit costs $350 each, and includes an easy to use training DVD that parents/grandparents/volunteers can view before teaching the fun hands on activities.

5 steps to start this project: 

  1. Contacting your local substance abuse lead agency who may be able to provide the HALO kit with their prevention grant funds. In the following counties BARBOUR, BRAXTON, DODDRIDGE, GILMER, LEWIS, MARION, MON, HARRISON, PRESTON, RANDOLPH, TAYLOR, TUCKER, UPSHUR contact Elizabeth Shahan at 304-423-5049
  2. Gather parent volunteers who are interested in facilitating this 12 activity project to little ones ages 4-5-6.
  3. Make sure you have a willing school (or after school); principal informed; faculty informed.
  4. Watch the DVD together with your parent volunteers. Study the lessons; gather needed materials.
  5. Set up calendar dates for your 10 -12 visits. You only need 20 – 30 minutes. But the activities are flexible.

What did you learn?  We implemented this HALO project with our Boys and Girls Club after school program, with 22 K and 1st graders. We learned that it’s easy and fun to implement with creative, engaging activities.

Did you have a “A-Ha or Light Bulb” Moment? 4-5-6 year olds are hysterical!!  They are quick, witty, forthright and eager!

What was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? Time management is the biggest challenge; working around the after school program’s calendar schedule.   We overcame this challenge by being flexible

What resources, videos, websites helped you put your project/strategy together?

Project SUCCESS, the substance abuse prevention grant through Bureau for Health and Health Facilities, CSAP and SAMHSA provided kits through the Region 4 budget. The Harrison County Family Resource Network is the lead agency who made the purchase of the HALO kits possible. Elizabeth Shahan is the executive director. The DVD which comes with the HALO kit is necessary and terrific.

How have you engaged the following partners in your strategy?

…parents and grandparents? Church bulletin announcements & Coalition announcements

…students? Meeting them before sessions began to get them excited

…teachers and support staff? Phone conversations and faculty announcements

…principal/administrators? Phone conversations and face to face meetings

…business/labor/community partners? Newspaper article and Coalition buy-in