Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an award winning, evidence-based classroom program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression and violence among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program reaches children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 across Canada, in English and French, in rural, urban, remote and Aboriginal communities both on and off reserve and internationally in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
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 ofROE indicate significant reductions in aggression and increases in pro-social behaviour.
Learn more: http://www.rootsofempathy.org
Seeds of Empathy is Roots of Empathy’s “younger sibling”. It is a program that fosters social and emotional competencies and early literacy skills and attitudes in children 3-5 years of age in Early Childhood settings.
Learn more: http://www.seedsofempathy.org
The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world, then to organize and act to change it. That's never been impossible and never been easy.
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