SASKATOON, SK, April 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Roots of Empathy will celebrate the babies and families who have volunteered in Saskatoon classrooms to bring Roots of Empathy to Saskatchewan - completing our expansion to every province and reaching over 53,000 Canadian children in 2011-12!
|What||A celebration honouring Saskatchewan's first ever Roots of Empathy babies, the world's youngest teachers. For the past 10 months, these infants - and their parents - have helped develop empathy in over 250 Saskatoon school children. These "tiny teachers" are the key to a made-in-Canada program now active in every province of Canada and on three continents worldwide.|
|Where|| YWCA Studio Room
510 25th Street East, Saskatoon, SK
|When|| Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
*** Photo opportunity of Roots of Empathy babies at approximately 1:50 p.m.
|Why||Mary Gordon, Founder/President of Roots of Empathy, will be on hand to describe how more and more, thought leaders and neuroscientists are recognizing that empathy matters, acting as a "brake" against cruelty, exclusion and bullying and an accelerator for learning, positive social behaviour and a civil society.|
|From Saskatchewan' Minister of Education, Hon. Donna Harpauer:|
|I would like to congratulate Roots of Empathy on their first-year anniversary of offering their program to 250 Saskatoon school children in the Saskatoon Public and Greater Saskatoon Catholic school boards. On Tuesday, April 24th they are celebrating this important occasion by honouring their "tiny teachers", parents, volunteers and community champions who are essential in bringing this social and emotional literacy program to elementary school children.|
ABOUT ROOTS OF EMPATHY
In 1996, Roots of Empathy began as a pilot project bringing the power of empathy to children in Toronto using the model of a baby and parent. Today the organization is recognized worldwide as an award-winning social innovation and evidenced-based social and emotional learning program that reduces aggression - including bullying - and increasing prosocial behaviours.
The program has reached 450,000 children on three continents, and has garnered international media attention from the Globe and Mail, the New York Times and its work with the Lady Gaga Born this Way Foundation. Mary Gordon and the Roots of Empathy program are featured in Beverly Schwartz's newly released book Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World, and Who Cares?, a new international documentary by award-winning Brazilian director Mara Mourao, now in theatres.
MARY GORDON - BIOGRAPHY
Mary Gordon is recognized internationally as an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert who has created programs informed by the power of empathy. In 1996 Mary outlined the initial curriculum of Roots of Empathy and began piloting the program in Toronto. In 2000 she established the national and international organization Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in every province of Canada, New Zealand, the USA, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, and Germany. In 2005, Ms Gordon created the Seeds of Empathy program. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and an Ashoka Fellow.
Ms Gordon is also the founder of Canada's first and largest school-based Parenting and Family Literacy Centres, which she initiated in 1981. They have become public policy in Ontario and have been used as a best practice model internationally. Ms Gordon speaks and consults to governments, educational organizations, and public institutions. The Nelson Mandela Children's Foundation brought Ms Gordon to South Africa to share her parenting expertise. Ms Gordon has also presented to the World Health Organization, the Skoll World Forum, and the United Nations, among others.
Ms Gordon is the recipient of several prestigious awards recognizing her contribution to innovation in education and international social entrepreneurship, including the Manning Innovation Award, an award for being the top social enterprise in Canada. In 2009 she received the Public Education Advocacy Award from the Canadian Teachers' Federation.
Ms Gordon has had three dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama: First in 2006, at the Vancouver Dialogues, and then in 2008, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Seeds of Compassion event and in 2011 at the Delhi Dialogues. The Dalai Lama has expressed that programs like Roots of Empathy will build world peace.
In 2008, Roots of Empathy was one of three winners in an international competition from Changemakers for programs that help youth at risk. Also in 2008, National Chief Phil Fontaine and the Assembly of First Nations passed a resolution to support Roots of Empathy and Seeds of Empathy in First Nations schools across Canada. Ms Gordon is one of the social entrepreneurs featured in Beverley Schwartz's 2012 book, Rippling - How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World. She is featured in the documentary Who Cares? by director Mara Mourão, now playing in theatres.
In 2002, Ms Gordon was named the first female Canadian Ashoka Fellow, recognizing her as a member of an international circle of social entrepreneurs who have the creativity that enables them to envision new and better ways to address persistent social problems and the entrepreneurial skill and determination required to bring their ideas to fruition. In 2011, Ms Gordon was named an Ashoka Globalizer, joining a select group of Ashoka Fellows supported in extending their message and impact to the global level. She is a member of the Global Executive Board of Directors. Her book, Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child, is a Canadian bestseller.
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