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Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy

If you are expecting a baby in June or July, you may be interested in volunteering to be part of a program called “Roots of Empathy.”  This program is taught in many schools worldwide and is developed to teach children how to empathetic towards a young baby and towards each other.  There is a strong anti-bullying theme.

The program is delivered by Cally Simmons, a retired teacher and principal, who has been trained to be the instructor.  There are eight themes taught from September to May and delivered in three week sessions.  For example, if the theme is “Safety”, Cally works with the class in the first week to generate issues of safety around the house.  The class works in groups to look at each room of the house to highlight potential safety concerns. In the second week, the baby visits and the class shares their findings with the mom and observes the baby’s growth and development.  The baby has a special green blanket and the class sits around the sides.  With the mother’s and instructor’s permission members of the class are invited to “play” with the baby using toys provided by the instructor. Week three the class meets again to review what has been learned about safety and children.

The baby visits once a month and is the highlight of the program. The class is Junior level (Grades 4-6) and for the past five years the host teacher has been Nancy Rosser. If you require more information, please contact Cally at cally.simmons@gmail.com.