Photo available upon request
TORONTO, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - It is teacher appreciation day for the
world's youngest educators, the babies at the heart of Roots of
Empathy. Canada's most established and researched bullying prevention
program, Roots of Empathy aims to build caring, peaceful and civil
societies through the development of empathy in children and adults.
Since last fall, 119 'tiny teachers' have been visiting classrooms
throughout Toronto schools, helping students to first recognize
emotions in the baby, then in themselves, and finally in others.
Through these infants and trained Instructors, Roots of Empathy reduces
levels of aggression among school children by raising their social and
emotional competence and increasing empathy.
Over 60 babies joined in today's celebration at St. Lawrence Hall,
hosted by Scott Rutherford, Chair of Roots of Empathy and Founder of
Rutherford Development Strategies. Mary Gordon, Founder/President of
Roots of Empathy, was present to thank the babies, their parents,
Instructors and Mentors who conduct the programs, educators and
administrators from the Toronto District School Board, corporate
sponsors, agencies supporting program delivery and representatives from
the government, all of whom make the Roots of Empathy program possible
through their partnership and support. Also recognized were Instructors
who have been delivering the Roots of Empathy program for 5, 10, and
even 15 years.
"It is fantastic to celebrate our youngest citizens for their
contributions - 119 babies from our community have visited Toronto
District School Board schools over this past year, helping to prevent
bullying before it even starts," notes Gordon.
Seventeen years after Roots of Empathy was first created in Toronto, the
program has now expanded to reach over half a million children on three
continents. In Canada, the program is offered in English and French, in
rural, urban and remote communities - including First Nations
communities - in every province. Called "Canada's olive branch to the
world," by the World Health Organization, Roots of Empathy is
recognized by the Assembly of First Nations, the Dalai Lama, the
European Union, the Ashoka Foundation and the United Nations, which
most recently invited Mary Gordon to share her expertise as part of its
2015 Millennium Development Goals for Education.
As the birthplace of Roots of Empathy, Toronto hosts the largest annual
baby celebration. The 60 almost-one-year-olds honoured today have
already made a significant contribution to the prevention of bullying:
changing the world, child by child.
Mary Gordon was recognized as Canada's top social innovator in 2011 with the
Manning Innovation Awards' David E. Mitchell Award of Distinction. The
first female Canadian Ashoka Fellow and an Ashoka Globalizer, she was a
featured speaker representing 50 of the world's leading social
entrepreneurs at Ireland's ChangeNation in 2012, a presenter at the
2012 Skoll World Forum in Oxford, and was most recently invited to
share her expertise at the United Nations as part of its 2015
Millennium Development Goals for Education.
SOURCE: Roots of Empathy
For further information:
For more information visit our online media kit or contact:
B: 416-204-7884 M: 905-505-2094
B: 416- 204-7887 M: 416-895-2308