What is Roots of Empathy?
Established in 1996, Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an award winning, evidence-based classroom program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. More than 500,000 children have benefitted from the program world-wide.
At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom nine times over the school year. A trained ROE instructor visits the classroom 27 times over the year, working with the classroom teacher to help the children observe the baby’s development emotionally, physically and mentally. Students are guided in identifying the baby’s feelings and invited to reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. The emotional literacy taught in the program lays the foundation for more caring classrooms where children begin to sense the importance of understanding other people’s perspectives.
Current Roots of Empathy Programming on the Sunshine Coast
This year (2015-2016 School Year), eleven programs are being offered in eight of our local elementary schools here on the Sunshine Coast. Over 200 students ranging from kindergarten to 6th grade are benefitting from the work of local instructors and the participation of neighbourhood infants and parents. Participating schools include: Roberts Creek, Gibsons Elementary, Cedar Grove, Davis Bay, West Sechelt, Kinnikinnick, Halfmoon Bay and Madeira Park.