How can you support relief efforts in Haiti and Afghanistan?

Learn more about resources to support people in Haiti and Afghanistan.

Read More

Roots of Empathy Volunteer Family (parent and baby) Honolulu schools

Save to Favorites



Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an incredible international, evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. It is designed for children ages 5 to 13, there is also a preschool version called Seeds of Empathy which will be available in Hawaii next school year.

In our traditional program model the volunteer family goes into the classroom with the ROE Instructor about once a month for 9 months. This year we are delivering what is being called a Recovery Program which is being delivered virtually (more information on this is below).

Roots of Empathy supports positive mental health and well-being, and creates a safe space for children to learn and talk about their feelings. We help them not only cope, but thrive. As a Volunteer Roots of Empathy Family, you will be part of a great movement to nurture and develop empathy in school children to prevent bullying, increase emotional resilience and nurture happy, kind children.

At the heart of the program is an infant and parent whom partners with a trained Roots of Empathy Instructor to connect with a classroom of students and their teacher. Age eligible babies will have been born in June, July, August, September or October 2020.

The children in the classroom get to know the parent and baby, and most especially they get to witness the attunement of the parent and infant in that most influential first relationship: which is a living example of empathy. Quality relationships act as a protection against negative or stressful experiences by increasing a child’s resilience and sense of belonging.

The trained Roots of Empathy Instructor along with the curriculum are able to highlight this attachment relationship and demonstrate how the parent regulates the baby’s emotions. Every time the baby demonstrates some emotion, the children talk about the baby’s intention and what they think that the baby might be feeling. Through this experiential learning and engagement, they are learning the language for their own feelings and the feelings of others. When children feel connected and supported, they are freed up to engage, focus, learn, grow and feel happy.

In Roots of Empathy, children develop empathy, which allows them to understand themselves and relate to others. Empathy is also a key ingredient to responsible citizenship and responsive parenting. Information on infant safety and development helps children to be more aware of issues of infant vulnerability such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Shaken Baby Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and second-hand smoke. Observations of a loving parent-child relationship give children a model of responsible parenting.

The virtual Recovery Program starts in November and will end in April or May:

  • The first 5 lessons in the ROE Recovery Program will take place between November and mid December. These lessons are once a week.
  • These initial 5 lessons support students’ mental health, well-being and adjustment back into the regular routine of school and help them as they process their experiences of COVID-19.
  • The volunteer family will participate in each of the first 5 lessons by sending photos, stories (about baby and about parenting), as well as videos of baby to the Instructor to share with the classroom.
  • Before every lesson, the Instructor will provide specifics of what photos and videos the parent will need to take.
  • For example, the Instructor may ask for a video of the baby when they are happy and a video of when they are sad. The Instructor may also ask the parent to share how they feel when baby is happy and when baby is sad.
  • There will also be times when the students will prepare questions about the baby and the parent will be asked to send a video response.
  • The volunteer parent will send the Instructor photos and videos (through email, text, or if files are bigger using a free file sending site like WeTransfer).
  • The volunteer family will be given a Roots of Empathy t-shirt and we ask that you please have baby wear the shirt for all photos and videos. (we will give you multiple sizes to use as baby grows)
  • As an example, for the first Roots of Empathy lesson in November, the Instructor will ask the parent to send a photo of bay in the Roots of Empathy t-shirt along with baby’s birth weight, birth length, and birth date. The Instructor will share this with the students in lesson one.
  • After each lesson there will likely be questions from the children, comments or feedback that the Instructor will share with the volunteer parent
  • Names of the first 5 Lessons
    • What Happened
    • Lost & Found
    • Roles & Responsibilities
    • Body Language
    • Hope & Resilience
  • In January, the Roots of Empathy program could take place in person, in the classroom (if schools are open).
  • If schools are closed or if the volunteer family would prefer not to go into the classroom in person - then the program can continue on being delivered virtually.
  • Between January through May the Roots of Empathy family visit lessons are about once a month.
  • The Roots of Empathy Instructor will connect with the Volunteer Family towards the end of the year to discuss how the program and their participation will look in the New Year.
  • Note that depending on the situation with COVID, some schools may decide to start the program in January instead of in November. The program would still end in April or May.

Here are some links with additional information:

  • Introductory Video What Is Roots of Empathy?
  • htts://
  • Parent Booklet
  • Roots of Empathy in Hawaii Flyer
  • ROE on the NBC Today Show: Roots of Empathy featured on the NBC Today Show
  • ROE from a Volunteer Parents Perspective

What happens when your family volunteers to be a Roots of Empathy?

  • You demonstrate your parent-child attachment relationship, the first and most powerful model of empathy
  • You support the development of children’s social and emotional competence
  • You develop a better understanding of your baby’s development and needs
  • You build a positive connection to the children, the school, the community

If you think you might be interested, I’d love to schedule a Zoom call with you to connect and answer any questions you have.

Thank you so much for considering becoming a volunteer Roots of Empathy Family.

Malama pono e mahalo, Angelica
Angelica Paulo Friedmann

Roots of Empathy Program Manager and Senior Mentor T: 808-233-9170

1 More opportunity with ROOTS OF EMPATHY HAWAII

Request failed
{{ opp.title }}
This is a Virtual Opportunity.
{{ opp.location }}
We'll work with your schedule
{{ opp.dateStr }}
{{ opp.timeStr }}



PO BOX 980, Waialua, HI 96791, US

Mission Statement

Roots of Empathy’s mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. Roots of Empathy strives to break the intergenerational cycle of violence and poor parenting. The focus of Roots of Empathy in the long term is to build capacity of the next generation for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting. In the short term, Roots of Empathy focuses on raising levels of empathy, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression. Part of our success is the universal nature of the program; all students are positively engaged instead of targeting bullies or aggressive children.


At the heart of the program are a neighborhood infant and parent who visit the classroom throughout the school year. A trained Roots of Empathy 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 lays the foundation for safer and more caring classrooms, where children are the "Changers."

We invest in our volunteer Instructors by providing a comprehensive, four day training with a certified Roots of Empathy trainer. You receive a curriculum, classroom kit, story books, and all other materials you will need to deliver the program.

You also receive on-going guidance on best practices by Roots of Empathy Mentors, as well as professional development opportunities, ensuring you are qualified, confident and supported.

Children & Youth
Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


This is a Virtual Opportunity with no fixed address.


  • Literacy / Reading
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Child Development
  • Reading / Writing
  • Special Needs




  • Background Check

Report this opportunity