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.