December PAL® Initial Adult Training

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This December 4th and 5th, 2012 PAL® is holding an initial Adult training at our 4115 Freidrich
Lane location in Austin Texas.

If you are a new PAL® Teacher or sponsor this school year please print and fill out the registration form below and e-mail or fax the form to us here at WAP. (512) 338-0939


Initial Adult Training

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“Ring the Alarm” for The 2013 PAL® High School Conference

2013 PAL HS Registration Flyer-1

Come Join us for our annual PAL® High School Conference being held at  Lake Travis High School  on February 15th and 16th, 2013.

Registration for this event will be open on December 1st, 2012!!  Just click on our events tab and go to conferences for more details!!!








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PAL®s Make Positive Differences–from Anson High School

Check out how Anson High School is making a positive difference in their community! Anson High School PAL® students work with Palees from feeder elementary and middle schools. Master PAL® teacher and Adjunct Trainer, Katrina Plank, compiles this evaluation data yearly.

Gathering and reporting this sort of data is useful in quantifying the positive effects that PAL® has on your campus, in your feeder schools, and in your community. In Mrs. Plank’s opinion, if you can tie the efforts and volunteerism provided by PAL® students to money, it helps people outside of PAL® see how truly valuable the program is.

Mrs. Plank also sends this information to prominent members of our local and broader community such as Senators, members of Congress, the First Lady, and President of the United States to let them know about the value of PAL®.

Kudos to the Anson High School PAL®s for all of their positive contributions towards a better tomorrow!

Below is data collected from June of ’10 to May of ’11 and compiled to show the measurable success of the PAL® Program at Anson High School for the 2010-2011 school year.

Hours served – the total hours at the elementary and middle school were 884 which would be equal to approximately $7,762 in teacher’s aide pay. The PAL®s worked in the community a total of 2229 hours. If these young people were paid that would equal over $22,290. What a service!

Elementary and middle school teachers reported that due to PAL®’s influence:

  • 5% increase math skills and comprehension
  • 15% increase in reading skills
  • 20% increase in reading comprehension
  • 51% increase in positive interaction with both peers and adults
  • 68% increase in staying on task & complying with rules
  • 51% increase in wise choices
  • 51% decrease in making unwise choices
  • One class went from below grade level work to at or above grade level work

The PAL® [students’] perspective of what they gained by being a PAL®

How to communicate and understand others • Helped me meet people • [Helped me] get out of my shell • [Helped me] be a more effective leader • Patience • Children always need a good role model • Responsibility • Leadership • It takes work for an organization to be successful • Strengthened my character • Showed me how good it feels to help others • Friendships get you through

Comments about PAL®s from elementary and middle school teachers

Great job • Super model • Flexible • Kids love her • Huge help • They are responsible • Very well-mannered and helpful • Patient • Wish I had her all day • Kids think they are cool • Does everything asked • Excellent example • Very capable • So Helpful in getting 5th graders ready for TAKS • Awesome with kids • Very enthusiastic • Comes in and looks for kids to help • Inspiring to kids • Thank you • Doesn’t hesitate to jump in • Awesome

Anson ISD enrollment:
High School     185
Middle School  135
Elementary       367
Total                 687

# of Anson High School PAL®s……………..16
# of PAL®ees (students PAL®s mentor)……250

36.4% of the total population received PAL® services

Other services PAL®s provided:

  • Party for incoming freshmen
  • Tour of school for incoming freshmen
  • Mix-It-Up Day – boundary breaking activity at Anson High School
  • Helped with Open House at Anson High School
  • GOALS program for 1st grade
  • Project Thanksgiving in Abilene
  • Fundraising for Leukemia/Lymphoma Society
  • Many other areas for Service Learning Hours

This information is only a portion of all that was collected. This program has students that meet a higher standard by choice. PAL®s use America’s greatest resource, our children, to benefit the high school students themselves, their school, the feeder schools, and the community.

Information compiled and reported by Katrina Plank, CPPE, Master PAL® teacher at Anson High School, Anson, Texas; Adjunct PAL® Teacher Trainer, PAL® Services, Austin, Texas


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Three PAL® Teachers in Fort Bend ISD are Finalists for 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year Award!

Congratulations to these exemplary teachers!

The PAL® program and character development are going strong in Fort Bend Independent School District! On February 8th, the 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year Finalists for Fort Bend ISD were announced. Three of the five finalist teachers in the secondary school category are PAL® teachers! Big congratulations to these worthy and dedicated teachers: Barbara Burnham of L.V. Hightower High School, Debra Coleman of George Bush High School, and Karla Lalendorff of Stephen F. Austin High School.

About the Finalists
Barbara Burnham, M. Ed., has been teaching for twenty five years, and the last twenty-two of those have been within Fort Bend ISD. She began teaching PAL® in the 2000-2001 school year with a class of eleven students. By February of 2002, she was selected as one of thirteen Master PAL® Teachers from around the state of Texas. She continued to teach PAL® through 2006. As of the 2011-2012 school year Barbara Burnham returned to teaching PAL® once more. In addition to teaching PAL®, she also teaches Algebra I at Hightower High.

Debra Coleman, MLA, has been teaching for eleven years, and the last six of those have been at George Bush High School. While this is her first year to teach PAL® she is very proactive in implementing this transformative and character developing curriculum with her PAL® students. Debra Coleman also teaches AP English at Bush High School and a freshman English course at a local community college two nights a week.

Karla Lalendorff of Stephen F. Austin High School has been teaching over thirteen years and teaching PAL® for four years. In addition to PAL®, Ms. Lalendorff also teaches Advanced World History and AP World History.

Character Building and Excellence in Teaching Go Hand In Hand in Fort Bend ISD
This was also a big year for Fort Bend ISD as a whole. They were recently named as a recipient of the 2011 National District of Character award by the Character Education Partnership (CEP) in Washington, D.C. To be given this award involves a lengthy application process, and Fort Bend ISD is the only School District in the United States to receive this prestigious award from Washington.

Congratulations all around to these dedicated and talented teachers and to Fort Bend ISD for all of their efforts in helping to create a more responsible, caring and resilient future!

For to learn more about Fort Bend ISD’s Teacher of the Year Finalists, please go to:

For more on Fort Bend ISD, please see:


Article written by Tara Cowan. Edited by Scott Shipman. Photos and interview information provided by teachers. Special thanks to Annette Henderson, FBISD PAL® District Coordinator.


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PAL® Students Learn to Lead in Austin

Written by: Jim Barnes Middle School PAL®s

Peer Assistance and Leadership (PAL®) Middle School students attended a state conference on Saturday, November 5th at Akins High School in Austin, Texas. While at the conference, Jim Barnes Middle School PALs® learned more about being a student leader.

Tory Gant, head of trainings at the conference, told his uplifting life story of positively overcoming a troubling childhood. Gant discussed family issues and how he managed to maintain a positive attitude even after the tragic deaths of over 20 of his siblings due to alcohol abuse, illness, and violence. With a radiating smile and electric storytelling, Gant now organizes trainings on peer leadership and gives motivational speeches to youth and adults.

Notable workshops at the conference included “The Truth About Bullying,” “Dangers Without Intentions” (DWI) and “Busted.” In “The Truth About Bullying,” lead by Anson High School PAL® students, conference attendees learned more about bullying prevention and how to spot an incident. At the DWI workshop, students learned about the horrific and graphic truths of driving under the influence as well as the dangers of texting while driving. PALs® learned the importance of always wearing a seatbelt to keep your life and body intact. In the “Busted” workshop, PALs® learned about the experiences of young people that have been assigned to Juvenile Detention (JD) centers. Here PALs® encountered life stories of young people in juvenile detention struggling with the consequences of their poor decision making, describing what they have encountered along the way and how they have had to change their own ways of thinking to get their lives back on track.

PAL® attendees from Jim Barnes Middle School included: Caleb Moreno, Carly Guiterrez, Casey Smithey, Cassie Arzola, Cassie Coyle, Christian Tovar, Emily Nash, Gabe Gonzales, Huston Haas, Jenesis Cantu, Jonathan Hernandez, Joseph Freeman, Kailey Villareal, Kaly Kinser, Kelly Casey, Khrisgina Applewhite, Kimberly Fransen, Matias Pelcastre, Miranda Garcia, Paige Conrey, Sam Coyle, Serena Molina, and Shay Boenig. Photo credit: Catherine Colvin, Jim Barnes Middle School PAL® Teacher

PALs® report meeting students from around the state of Texas in character building sessions and teamwork exercises. Overall, this year’s state PAL® Middle School Leadership Conference seemed to be one for the record books of great influence and positivity!

Edited by: Catherine Colvin & Tara Cowan

For more on Jim Barnes Middle School please visit: the Jim Barnes Middle School website.

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