The Grey Bruce Roots of Empathy program celebrated a dozen one-year-olds for their part in teaching some very important life lessons to nearly 400 students from across Grey Bruce over the past school year.
Participating with their parents in the Roots of Empathy program, these babies, dubbed ‘tiny teachers’, helped children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 in thirteen schools across Grey Bruce learn about expressing feelings, respect, inclusion, infant development and safety and the power of a loving bond between parent and child. A total of seventeen infants and their parents took part in the pilot program.
At the heart of the Roots of Empathy program is a neighborhood infant and parent, who visit the classroom with a certified instructor nine times over the school year. Using a specialized curriculum, the instructor coaches the students to observe the baby’s development, celebrate milestones, interact with the baby and learn about an infant’s needs and unique temperament. The Roots of Empathy program reduces levels of aggression and bullying among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.
Catherine Talbot, International Liaison for Roots of Empathy acknowledged the efforts made by families, instructors and schools to make the program such a success.
The Baby Celebration also recognized the many people who contribute to the local success of Roots of Empathy including Bluewater District, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, and Bruce Grey Catholic District School Boards as well as community partners Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services and Kids & Us.
To learn more about Roots of Empathy, please visit www.rootsofempathy.org