Babies Wanted: Kids Can Fly has started the search for families to volunteer with their young infants in our Roots of Empathy program for the 2013-2014 school year. This evidenced-based program continues to show an 88% reduction of aggression amongst children who participate and it also promotes emotional literacy, child development and pro social behaviours. The key to the success of the program is a young infant who will visit the classroom 9 times over the school year. For more info go to www.rootsofempathy.org or call Sharon at 519 448 1713 to get Brant specifics. The program is offered within both school boards and runs from October til June. Babies should ideally be born between June and August.
Bullying is a major problem in our schools and social networks of children today. Roots of Empathy is a program that takes a preventative approach in helping children to understand the feelings of others. This in turn helps them to develop tolerance and acceptance of difference, thus reducing bullying and aggression. The key to the success of this program is a young infant who comes into their classroom once a month during the school year. The children bond to the baby and experience empathy.
When empathy goes up…… aggression goes down. The baby is the teacher in Roots of Empathy.
Developed by Mary Gordon, an educator from Toronto, Roots of Empathy has been called Canada’s Olive Branch to the World.
It has grown across Canada since 1996 and is now in several other countries. Trained Roots of Empathy instructors go into the classes 27 times with 9 of those visits including the baby. The program is researched carefully at UBC and is showing an 88% reduction of aggression amongst participants as well as an increase in pro social behaviors.
The baby is the teacher in Roots of Empathy
Kids Can Fly brought Roots of Empathy to Brant in 2003 with 7 classes and today the number has grown to 55. Over 9000 local children have participated in classes within both school boards, in the francophone system and on Six Nations. Kids Can Fly raises the money to train instructors and coordinates all the arrangements with the classroom teachers, volunteer families and the Roots of Empathy National office.
Quick Facts on Roots of Empathy
- Roots of Empathy was created by Mary Gordon, an educator from Toronto Ontario who has won the Order of Canada and numerous National and International Awards in recognition of this program that is making a difference in Canada and around the globe
- Roots of Empathy is delivered in most provinces across Canada in English and French and also has an Aboriginal curriculum
- The instructors are volunteers or staff released from their jobs or school principals, VPs etc who receive 4 full days of training and access to trained mentors.
- The curriculum has been researched and is very comprehensive.
- Roots of Empathy can be provided from JK to grade 8 and the curriculum has been developed to be age appropriate but with the same vision. Schools select their grade.
- The program is delivered 3 times a month from October – June. The middle visit is the one that the baby participates in. Each visit last about 35 – 40 minutes. Instructors and classroom teachers create their own schedules to make it work in their school.
- Classroom teachers must remain and participate during the sessions. They take photos, record data and assist the instructor. They will also gain insight into their students. .
- Principals should contact their Superintendent if they want to get on the list for ROE
- Typically schools are selected in June for the fall start up. The amount of funding available determines how many new instructors we can train each year.
If you want to bring Roots of Empathy to your school have your principal contact Sharon Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on a school waiting list.
For more information about the Roots of Empathy concept and the origin of our program please visit www.rootsofempathy.org