How It Works
Healing Species is a highly structured violence and bullying prevention education program that teaches young people compassion to intercept the cycle of returning "violence for violence." Rescued dogs play a key role as healers and teachers. They accompany instructors into the classroom where the lesson begins with telling the visiting dog's story of abandonment, abuse and neglect, a situation to which the children can often relate. Seeing the happy, loved dog sitting before them offers the children hope and courage for their own lives, forges bonds between students and teachers and brings the lessons to life as children practice kindness and compassion with the dogs.
Healing Species 11-week curriculum begins by addressing issues of the heart.
We build a bridge between students and their hearts with the help of the rescued animals. The participation of the rescued dogs helps us reach the high-risk children. The dogs help the children open up to the message that even the most wounded among us have something important to give.
- You can be quiet and gentle in the classroom
- You are important
- Somebody loves you
- Importance of finding a safe place
- What people do that is never ok
- How to tell a trusted adult
- How to Keep your heart from harm
- How to get your broken heart back
Now that we have created a safe environment for students, they are open to learning how to "rise above" their circumstances.
- Grieve your hurts
- Overcome your past by making positive choices
- Know your triggers
- Understand tolerance
- Heal by showing empathy to all living beings
- Earn your reputation
- Develop your personal power
Finally, we provide the inspired students the skills necessary to intercept the cycle of abuse by helping others who need them.
- Be aware of the world around you
- Perform a small service every day
- Envision your dream future
- Reach dreams by practicing responsibility
- Set a positive example to others
- Never stop believing in possibilities
Each 11-week session ends with a student led community service project.