our vision

To grow students into confident, resilient, successful adults with good social skills and the ability to learn independently. Thereby:

  • raising the U.S. national 3rd-grade average reading level,

  • enabling students to BE THE DIFFERENCE™ to themselves, their family, and their community,

  • enhancing the employable workforce in the community,

  • and, reducing the pipeline to prison.

Growing Every Year…

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Our history…


The prison industry approximates that 70% of children who are not proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade will go to prison. 

Motivated by a Harvard professor stating that the moral fabric of our society is declining, H.U.G.  Founder Janine Broussard has a vision to set 2nd and 3rd graders on a positive life trajectory by improving their reading ability, while growing better social skills. “We want to raise the current 3rd grade national proficiency average of 40 percent.”

2009- 2014 

Broussard researches and finds the best program to grow resilient students. She selects Learning Together, a curriculum with 30-years of evidence-based research, which was created by educators at the University of North Carolina.

Broussard creates BE THE DIFFERENCE™, an interactive program kicks off and wraps up every H.U.G. session reinforcing positive behavior and growing a culture to positively impact social change.

Fall Semester 2015

Jefferson County Public Schools vets and approves the program. 

Spring Semester 2016

H.U.G. program launches at Lincoln Elementary School with 10 students in one school.

2016/17 School Year

H.U.G. granted 501-c-3 nonprofit designation and expands to Wilder and Dunn Elementary schools.

2017-18 School Year

H.U.G. expands into Engelhard, Stopher, & Zachary Taylor Elementary School reaching130 students in six schools.

2017-18 School Year

H.U.G. Ambassadors Program established to continue to loop students back into H.U.G. during 4th and 5th grades. Students become role models and take a leadership role as the BE THE DIFFERENCE™ speaker.

OUR supporters…