Healing Species Is Compassion Education and Violence Prevention
Healing Species is an innovative, 11-lesson curriculum program implemented throughout school systems and youth facilities, not only in the founding state of South Carolina, but also in other states, plus Nelson, New Zealand.
Our proven-effective and evidence-based program is an in-depth and interactive approach to:
Violence Prevention, Intervention and Victim Assistance
The purpose of the program is to teach students skills which help them overcome obstacles to their success: teaching respect for self and others, responsibility, compassion, and how to change themselves and their surroundings for better.
What We Do
Healing Species lessons are taught once a week for 11 consecutive weeks in classrooms and other group settings. Each lesson lasts an average of 50 minutes in length.
The Unique Twist - Rescued dogs – dogs no one else wanted – act as “helpers and teachers” in every lesson. Having their own story of abuse or neglect, each dog is a live visual aid for applying lessons in empathy, power, responsibility, and self-esteem, and an example that what happens to you in life is not what defines you. What defines you is your heart.
It is through these dogs that the children learn first-hand that the most wounded among us has something important to give – AND THAT IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE.
Students who come to school who are experiencing or witnessing abuse, neglect, violence, substance abuse, bullying, and low self-esteem find it hard to focus on learning. Healing Species not only teaches at-risk students skills to intercept obstacles and heal from hurts, but also teaches ALL CHILDREN tools for real power – not power born out of retaliation or victimization – power created by changing things for yourself and others and leading with acts of respect and kindness.
Why We Do It
Cheri Brown Thompson, Healing Species Founder, discovered, as a law student, the relationship of animal cruelty and human violence. Through several years of research with convicted violent offenders, she discovered two commonalities amongst the criminals: 1) they were abused as children, 2) they first acted out abuse on the only creature more vulnerable than themselves, an animal. With those two points of information in mind, the program was created to reach children at an early age (before adulthood) to impart empathy and compassion and thwart the cycle of violence and abuse mentality.