This morning morning my brother in law's mother came over. Linda asked Beckett and I to be the Roots of Empathy mom and infant for one of the schools here in Ottawa.
It sounds like a really wonderful program and Mr B and I are honoured to have been asked. I hope that there is such a program when Carson and Beckett are in school.
It sounds like a really wonderful program and Mr B and I are honoured to have been asked!
Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.
At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom every three weeks over the school year. A trained ROE Instructor coaches students to observe the baby's development and to label the baby's feelings. In this experiential learning, the baby is the "Teacher" and a lever, which the instructor uses to help children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. This "emotional literacy" taught in the program lays the foundation for more safe and caring classrooms, where children are the "Changers". They are more competent in understanding their own feelings and the feelings of others (empathy) and are therefore less likely to physically, psychologically and emotionally hurt each other through bullying and other cruelties. In the ROE program children learn how to challenge cruelty and injustice. Messages of social inclusion and activities that are consensus building contribute to a culture of caring that changes the tone of the classroom. The ROE Instructor also visits before and after each family visit to prepare and reinforce teachings using a specialized lesson plan for each visit. Research results from national and international evaluations of ROE indicate significant reductions in aggression and increases in pro-social behaviour.