World's youngest teachers are honoured

    TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - Over 60 babies will be honoured at a Roots of
Empathy Toronto Baby Celebration on Wednesday, June 13th (St. Lawrence Hall,
1:30 pm). This event honours the babies and parents that have spent the last
10 months in local classrooms helping children develop emotional literacy and
empathy for others. This is a rare opportunity to celebrate our youngest
teachers and meet Mary Gordon, Founder and President of the Roots of Empathy
program, 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 recent Canadian bestseller called,
"Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child."
    Minister of Education, Kathleen Wynne, whose Ministry has funded the
program, will be speaking.
    The Honourable Mr. Justice Edward Ormston, Director - Roots of Empathy
Board, will be our Master of Ceremonies.

    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. Roots of Empathy was first offered in a
Toronto pilot of six programs in 1996. There are currently 735 classrooms (134
in Toronto) involving approximately 18,375 students (3,350 in Toronto) in
Ontario that are participating in Roots of Empathy programs.
    The heart of the ROE program is a neighbourhood infant and parent who
visit the classroom with a certified ROE Instructor every three weeks over the
school year (the Family Visit). 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 that is developmentally appropriate for each of four
age ranges (Kindergarten, Grade 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8). With their parents, these
babies have been teaching the children in their classes important lessons
about expressing feelings, respect, inclusion, the power of a loving bond
between parent and child, infant development and safety.
    Roots of Empathy is a not-for-profit organization with award winning
national and international programs. For more information on the Roots of
Empathy program please check our website at

For further information:

For further information: on the Roots of Empathy program please contact:
Lucy Di Carlo, Provincial Coordinator, Roots of Empathy, P: (416) 849-4690,
x.24, E:; For media inquiries please contact: Paul
Pinkus, Director of Marketing and Development, Roots of Empathy, P: (416)
204-7881, E:

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Roots of Empathy

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