In the late 1990s, Hand in Paw Founder Beth Franklin, who holds an MA in Counseling, and Leigh Ann Harrington, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, coauthored a humane education curriculum called Pawsitive Living™.
More than two decades later, Hand in Paw is still changing the lives of at-risk teens and preteens through this special program. Designed to foster empathy and respect for animals, Pawsitive Living™ teaches kindness, responsibility, and safety through engaging lessons with HIP Therapy Teams.
As demand steadily grew, HIP saw a need to target a younger population as well. In 2012, Hand in Paw purchased the No More Bullying! curriculum and began delivering it in 5-session terms to elementary and middle school children.
In both programs, highly qualified facilitators lead groups of Therapy Teams in teaching youth to cultivate social and emotional learning skills. The animals serve as a bridge of communication to the participants, helping to quickly build rapport with children who may have developed hardened façades due to difficult experiences. Through each week’s interactive group sessions, youth forge bonds with HIP Therapy Teams that instill compassion, integrity, and respect for themselves and others.