Richmond's Youngest Teachers Honoured



    RICHMOND, BC, May 5 /CNW/ - They're just marking their first birthdays,
but a group of babies are being celebrated tomorrow for their contribution to
teaching over the past school year.
    Twenty-two babies will be honoured at the Roots of Empathy Richmond, B.C.
Baby Celebration. With their parents, these babies have been teaching children
in local classrooms important lessons about expressing feelings, respect,
inclusion, infant development and safety, and the power of a loving bond
between parent and child.
    Founder/President of Roots of Empathy, Mary Gordon will be in attendance
to help celebrate along with the 22 Roots of Empathy babies, Instructors and
families who have made a lasting contribution to the well-being of the
Richmond community. Mary Gordon is one of North America's leading social
entrepreneurs, a renowned educator and Ashoka Fellow who has been awarded the
Order of Canada for her work. Mary Gordon is also the author of a Canadian
bestseller called, "Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child."
    Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that reduces
levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional
competence and increasing empathy. In Richmond this year 22 classrooms
involving approximately 670 students are participating in Roots of Empathy
programs. Since 2000, Roots of Empathy has reached over 16,000 children in the
province.
    The heart of the program is a neighbourhood infant and parent, who visit
the classroom with a certified instructor nine times over the school year. The
instructor coaches the students to observe the baby's development, celebrate
milestones, interact with the baby and learn about an infant's needs and
unique temperament. The Instructor also visits before and after each "Family
Visit" to prepare and reinforce teachings, using a specialized curriculum for
each of four age ranges (Kindergarten, Grade 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8).

    Roots of Empathy is a registered charity and non-profit organization with
award-winning national and international programs whose mission is to build a
more caring, peaceful and civil society through the development of empathy in
children and adults.





For further information:

For further information: on the Roots of Empathy program, please visit
www.rootsofempathy.org or contact: Norma Bryant, Roots of Empathy Key Point
Person, Tel. (604) 668-6269; nbryant@sd38.bc.ca; For media inquiries please
contact: Stefanie Di Risio, Director of Communications, Roots of Empathy:
(416) 204-7891, sdirisio@rootsofempathy.org

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Roots of Empathy

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