Roots of Empathy

Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Race & Ethnicity


community-basedBellingham, WA 98229 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Mission - To build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults.


Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based program offered in elementary schools that started in 1996 in Toronto, Canada. We believe the leaders of tomorrow are sitting in the classrooms of today, and need imagination and empathy to navigate relationships and form connections and inclusion. Independent research around the world over the last 20 years that has shown significant change in reducing levels of aggression and bullying and increasing sharing, caring, and helping. This effect lasts over time.

We have secured funding for this opportunity in Whatcom County, offering for Bellingham School District in Fall 2022. There is an opportunity for 15 volunteer instructors and 15 parent(s) with a baby born between the first week of July and first week of September. All diversities of local instructors and parent(s)/baby welcome and important, including diverse family systems, abilities, race, ethnicity, country of origin.

  • Volunteer Instructors attend a 3 day training at the end of October, and a 4th day mid-way through the school year. They are matched with a volunteer family, a classroom of students and their teacher and a ROE Mentor. Total time commitment about 2 hours/week. Classroom visits start in November and going to the end of the school year.
  • Parent(s) and baby ('Tiny Teacher') visit a classroom 9 times (about 1x/month) over the school year
  • Students learn about their own and each other’s emotions by learning about the baby's emotions. And celebrate milestones!


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