Mission Statement

To empower every child with the skills they need to lead a better life through the development and growth of self-esteem, self-awareness and kindness while enriching the lives of the educators who reach out to teach them.

Advisory Committee

Our Advisory Committee is made up of experts in the fields of childhood education, mental health, humane education and the human-animal bond. Our Advisory Committee includes:

Dr. Barbara Boat

Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Director, The Childhood Trust, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Dr. Aubry Fine

Psychologist specializing in children’s learning development, attention and behavioral difficulties; works with animals in therapy sessions. Professor of Education at Cal Poly Pomona, Author, Lecturer and Pioneer in the field of animal-assisted therapy and the human-animal bond.

Judy Majdan

ESL teacher in Jersey City – 35 years BA in Education K-12 MS in Urban Education (concentration in Bilingual / Bicultural Ed.) Committee member for selecting ESL materials and ESL curriculum specialized in early learning education.

Tina Majdan, MS

Elementary Education Bilingual / Bicultural Studies New Jersey Public School Teacher – 34 years Chairperson, Bilingual / SEL Program PACO Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Commitment to Education Recipient of numerous EXCEL Grants including grant funding for The Manadoob Program for Self-Esteem, which Ms. Majdan incorporated into curriculum based learning.

Eve S. Pearl, M.Ed.

Executive Director, Council on Child Abuse of Southern Ohio, Inc.

Althea Woods, M. Ed.

Bravo Award Winner for Excellence in Education Harvard educated Teacher and Principal, Los Angeles Unified School District

The Beginning By June Salin, Co-Creator

I want to briefly share how and why the Manadoob came to be: Several years ago, I researched, wrote and produced a documentary called “Kids & Animals – A Healing Partnership,” which explored the reciprocal and positive healing benefits of animal assisted therapy for children. The children and animals in the documentary faced extreme physical and psychological challenges in their lives. The film aired on television both domestically and internationally, and continues to be used as an educational tool in schools, universities and organizations throughout the world. Surprisingly, I began to hear from parents and educators that children who watched the film came away with feelings of compassion, acceptance and understanding that they should not fear children that were “different.” After all, they saw that the animals loved and accepted these kids. It opened up conversation… that none of us are perfect – and there is no need to be. We all have something special to offer during our time on this planet.

It became my mission to share these messages with as many kids as I could. I wanted to take the essence of the documentary to the next level – through written words – to reach even more children through a fictionalized and entertaining outlet and “Kids & Animals” has become an important tool in our outreach efforts. I partnered with Susan Cooper and together we developed a social and emotional learning system devoted to their self-empowerment and self-esteem.

I have always had a special relationship with animals. They have helped me through the most difficult aspects of the omnipresent twists and turns in life and they gave me a window into what was to become my passion – the magical, odd-ball, kid loving animals called the Manadoob. I truly believe that every passion comes from a spark within which grows as big and as important as one allows it to become.

Susan and I have made it our goal to never develop our products or carry out our programs in a vacuum. We have a talented, passionate, and committed team and an exemplary advisory committee. We have reached out to educators, parents, psychologists and kids, and have presented to focus groups throughout our development so we can do the best job possible in reaching our youth in a profound and positive way.

June Salin - Manadoob Scribe and Stargazer; Partner, Sadiki LLC; Manadoob Creator
june@manadoob.com

Every passion comes from a spark within you. And then it grows as big and as important as you allow it to become. The Manadoob have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My very own, wise, nurturing and healing dog gave me a window into these mystical creatures. As I grew older, and I shared in the lives of so many other animals, I realized that sharing the Manadoob with others could be a positive and empowering experience for everyone they touched – especially kids.

From the first effort to explore the extraordinary bonds that are formed between children and animals came the documentary, "Kids & Animals – A Healing Partnership". The documentary shares an emotional journey of the healing bond formed between kids facing extreme challenges in their lives who connect with animals that have challenges of their own. It tells stories of animal assisted therapy that will make you cry and laugh and fill you with hope.

But even more importantly, it shows us that each and every being has something to offer. That none of us is perfect and there is no need to be. The documentary has reached thousands of people, but I wanted to share this message with as many people as we could throughout the world moving beyond any cultural and ethnic boundaries and I knew the Manadoob could help with that in a very big way.

As the Manadoob say, "Every Manadoob knows that it takes a long time to become wise, and we understand that no one can truly reach perfection. Each and every one of us is a work in progress. You see, we know that it is not realistic for one being to have every good quality there is. We all need weaknesses to be a part of our whole and, without a doubt, we all have them."

It is our hope that you embrace the Manadoob in your own way and with their guidance you will learn to open up your heart and mind to becoming the best person you can be. Sadiki and let your adventure begin.

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Susan Cooper - Manadoob Inspirator; Partner, Sadiki LLC; Manadoob Co-Creator
susan@manadoob.com

As a mother of three, it has been my passion and challenge to provide the essential elements for each child to become the best of who they are. Together with June Salin, we have designed the Manadoob Program(s) to help children develop their self-esteem, to provide tools to help face life’s challenges, to support each child’s unique character development and to encourage children to care for, and reach out to others in the world around them.

I have dedicated the past fifteen years of my life to the study of therapeutic solutions to child behavioral and developmental challenges. The focus of my experience has been the hands-on practice of floor time therapy, with over 3,000 hours of active participation in therapy sessions. Having first studied the methodology of notable child psychologist, Dr. Stanley Greenspan, I also have experience with a number of cutting-edge techniques for child development in the areas of speech/communication, occupational therapy, music therapy, behavioral therapies, physical movement and training techniques.

In addition to my career as a mother of three, I have worked for over thirty years as a producer of internationally distributed films/television/viral content. I served as Vice President & Executive Producer at Saban Entertainment, and Executive Director at Buena Vista International, a Walt Disney Company, before becoming a partner and Executive Producer at Taublieb Films. As Executive Producer of the inspirational true life story, "The Vow" (Sony/MGM) starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, the Emmy Award winning ESPN documentary, "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, and of Showtime's Literacy in Media Award winning film, "Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny Kemble," I have always believed media can enrich as well as entertain. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Communication Studies.

As Wella says, “Life is full of challenges…” It is my hope that the Manadoob Program(s) to enhance self-esteem will help children develop the tools they need to be happy and fulfilled, and that they remember to Sadiki – to know they can be all they dream of becoming.

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Janis Salin - Manadoob Protector; Partner, Sadiki LLC
janis@manadoob.com

I am privileged to be a member of the Manadoob team and use my legal training to serve as the "Manadoob Protector". Over the last few years, I have watched my sister June use her enormous powers of creativity and storytelling to create the Manadoob concept, flesh out the Manadoob characters, and create the first of many compelling stories that speak to the fundamental issues faced by children around the world. As a mother to a now teenage daughter, my hope is that kids and their parents share these stories, and use the lessons embodied in them to develop a dialogue about the best ways to handle the tough times. Communication is the key and the Manadoob provide the tools.

For the last 6 years, I have served as the Vice President and General Counsel of a public company that provides consulting, engineering and technical services. For the previous 23 years, I was a corporate and securities attorney with private law firms in Los Angeles, and counseled numerous start-up companies in various fields. I am pleased to use that experience to help shape the growth of the Manadoob enterprise so that it can be shared with as many people as possible throughout the world.

I have always been interested in children’s education issues, and the relationship between people and their pets. For many years, I served as a "school adopter", under a program run by the Los Angeles Unified School District. I also advise organizations that foster kids' education through digital filmmaking programs, and classic literature, music and theater programs. I have learned first hand that the bonds we form with our pets will enhance our lives forever. The Manadoob help us understand and appreciate the significance and impact of these bonds on our daily lives.

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Nancy Shannon – Manadoob Nurturer
nancy@manadoob.com

The earliest memory I have of my love affair with animals, was at the age of 4. In a cartoon I was watching, a small bird had fallen from his mother’s nest and I cried so hard my mom had to decide whether to change the channel. From that day on, I have never been able to watch anything where an animal is hurt. I have lived with, loved, respected and related to animals my entire life. One day a shy, very thin and pregnant dog stumbled into our yard.. Although many say that was her lucky day, the truth is, it was ours. Shortly thereafter both of my parents passed away. Devastated and lost, I found comfort and compassion from our “Angel”. Through the years since she found us, Angel, until she passed away at 16 years old, was there through good and bad times, teaching us how to live with dignity and grace and always making the journey so much easier.

For over 28 years I worked successfully for an international staffing company in sales, operations and training, working closely with numerous corporations including UPS, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, and Federal Express; non-profits such as the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association; and schools such as Emory University and Georgia Tech. However, my desire to work on behalf of animals grew stronger and eventually led to a life changing move to work in animal welfare.

Utilizing my sales and marketing skills, I worked in the Cause Marketing Department of a non-profit animal sanctuary. There I was introduced to the wonderful world of the Manadoob and to June Salin and Susan Cooper. As I read through the novel and learned more about the program, I realized Manadoob had captured the emotional bond between humans and animals, and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. Little did I know my life would be forever changed because of it.

From the time I started with Manadoob in 2008, I have worn many hats, but the most rewarding for me is working as both trainer and mentor to our licensed Manadoob educators, teachers at both public and private schools, and facilitators around the world. From California to Atlanta, from Hawaii to Africa, I have the privilege of guiding each educator through their personal journey of self-discovery and preparing them for teaching Manadoob to the children in their communities. Their energy and excitement as they move through the training, their willingness and desire to share their thoughts and ideas with fellow educators, their total commitment to providing a child with life-changing skills, proves to me, they are indeed, the heart of the Manadoob Program. They are charged with an enormous responsibility. I help prepare them for that task. And I know that once they step into that classroom, they will never be the same.

In the words of Forest Witcraft — Scholar, Teacher and Scout Leader, “A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.” I am proud of our educators and honored to be a part of the Manadoob family.

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Matt Thompson – Manadoob Illustrative Communicator
matt@manadoob.com

I started drawing and painting when I was about 15 years old. I have loved to paint since the day I picked up a brush. After advertising school, I spent time traveling throughout Europe painting, selling my work and continuing to explore. My art expresses a visual complexity that grows inside of me until I can’t suppress the need to have it come alive on canvas. I don’t always know where my visions come from, which makes my work both exciting and exhausting. My work on the Manadoob illustrations allowed my imagination to run wild. The use of vivid colors and ability to let the art open the imagination of the reader’s mind to interpret the story in his or her own way provided a wonderful means to offer my visions to the project.

I love working on projects that help make the world a better place. In my previous work, I have donated my art to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society and environmental projects, and I love doing art shows. My other life involves working as a stuntman for movies and television. When I have time to relax, you will find me snowboarding or fishing with my dog Nala always by my side.

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Martine Hubbard – Manadoob Design Creator
martine@manadoob.com

As the Design Creator for the Manadoob I enjoy using my love for children and books, and my skill with color, and design to bring the message of the Manadoob to life. I have been with the Manadoob from creating the first black and white book draft to the wonderful full-color products now. Working with the Manadoob has taught me to imagine, to find the magic, and to believe that there is always a way to make the impossible possible.

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Photography by Numa Paul