Edmonton's youngest teachers honoured

    EDMONTON, May 25 /CNW/ - They're just marking their first birthdays, but
a group of babies are being celebrated this week for their contribution to
teaching over the past school year.
    Thirty-five babies will be honoured at the Roots of Empathy Baby
Celebration in Edmonton. 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.
    Roots of Empathy program staff will be in attendance to help celebrate
along with the 35 Roots of Empathy babies, Instructors and families who have
made a lasting contribution to the well-being of the Edmonton community.
    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 Edmonton this year, 35 classrooms in 23
schools involving approximately 875 students are participating in Roots of
Empathy programs. Since 2003, Roots of Empathy has reached over 9,300 children
in the province. The Roots of Empathy program in Edmonton and across the
province is made possible by the generous funding of Alberta Children's
    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.

                               Roots of Empathy
                     Edmonton Community Baby Celebration
                              Media Opportunity
                                 May 26, 2009

    What            A celebration honouring Edmonton, Alberta's Roots of
                    Empathy babies, the world's youngest teachers. Since the
                    start of the school year these 35 infants and their
                    parents have worked with approximately 875 school
                    children in Edmonton by "teaching" an innovative
                    classroom program about empathy and social/emotional
                    literacy. A short ceremony on stage will include a photo
                    opportunity of all Roots of Empathy babies.

    Where           Belmead School
                    9011 182 Street NW
                    Edmonton, AB

    When            1 - 3 p.m.
                    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Speakers        Kathy Alves, Key Point Person, Edmonton Roots of Empathy
                    Mike Cooper, Principal, Edmonton Public School Board
                    Sandy Vigrass, Provincial Manager, Roots of Empathy
                    Trinity Sharra, Grade One Roots of Empathy Student
                    Eldyka Simpson, ECSD, Roots of Empathy Instructor
                    Nathalie, Zuniga-Cadrin, CSCN, Teacher

    For More        Kathy Alves
    Information     Roots of Empathy
                    Tel. 780-907-4284

For further information:

For further information: please visit www.rootsofempathy.org or contact:
Kathy Alves, Roots of Empathy, Tel. (780) 907-4284, kalves@telus.net; 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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