The Kids Can Fly team was delighted to highlight the impressive volunteerism of families in the Roots of Empathy program at an event called the “Baby Celebration.”

The adorable event took place on Wednesday May 29th at the Kids Can Fly Launch Pad program location in Centennial-Grand Woodlands Public School in Brantford. The Baby Celebration brought together all of the mothers and babies who participated as volunteers and “Tiny Teachers” in classrooms across the region.

In Brantford and Brant County, Roots of Empathy is coordinated by Kids Can Fly, a registered charity that focusses on early child development and parenting support. Currently, registration for Roots of Empathy classrooms, instructor roles, and family volunteers is open. Visit the Roots of Empathy website for more information, including how to sign up as a classroom, instructor, or family.

In 2023-2024, there were seven families who volunteered in the program, which required them to visit their designated Roots of Empathy class approximately once per month. At these visits, the entire class would observe the baby and interact with them.

Six of these families were able to attend the Baby Celebration.

The event started off with a casual meet and greet between the families, who had not had the chance to meet prior to the gathering. After this, parents, students, instructors, and coordinators all shared their experiences with each other.

Everyone’s perspectives on their Roots of Empathy experience was overwhelmingly positive.

Kids Can Fly and Roots of Empathy are incredibly thankful to the families, instructors, students, and teachers who participated in the program this year. And an extra special thanks goes to our “Tiny Teachers”: Maisie, Leon, Barack, Blake, Emma, Leena, and Lilly.

Babies born in June, July, and August are ideal candidates for volunteering in the program, as their ages will align with the Roots of Empathy curriculum.

Instructors are always needed for Roots of Empathy instruction. While instructors cannot be the classroom teacher, they can be school support staff such as early childhood educators, educational assistants, child and youth workers, vice principals, or principals. Instructors can also be community volunteers. Many Roots of Empathy instructors in Ontario are retired teachers, or semi-retired individuals who are passionate about education.

Contact us if you are interested in getting involved in Roots of Empathy in the 2024-2025 school year. For more information about this role, visit rootsofempathy.org or email rootsofempathy@kidscanfly.ca