Roots of Empathy is a program that links a newborn baby and his/her parent/caregiver to a primary school classroom for a school year. Every three weeks for 27 weeks, the parent and baby visit the class. The children sit around a green blanket and observe the baby and parent while learning about the baby’s growth and development. The program is facilitated by a Roots of Empathy instructor, who visits the class every week. The goal of the program is to help children develop empathy and emotional literacy. The baby is a vehicle to teach the children about their own feelings and emotions.
Roots of Empathy is a research-backed program that currently operates in 12 countries. The program creates lasting results: children who have experienced the Roots of Empathy program show more positive social behaviour, increased understanding of parenting and infants, and decreased aggression, and contribute to more caring classrooms.
Roots of Empathy has operated in Oliver and Osoyoos elementary schools since 2005.