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Thank you to our Wakefield families and community for supporting our "Course of Kindness" Walk-a-Thon! We all had a blast and raised over $6,000!
WEHSA is proud to support the Roots of Empathy program at our school and has committed to help raise funds to cover the cost of training volunteer instructors plus annual fees to run the program.
Earlier this month two volunteers from our community, both moms of current or former WES students, followed a three-day intensive training by Roots of Empathy. They made their first weekly visits to the two Grade 1 classrooms on Oct 17. This week the babies will be introduced to the students, thus will begin the journey of observing the infants' development over the course of the school year. Very exciting initiative!
At the heart of the Roots of Empathy program are classroom visits by an infant and their parent. Through guided observations of this loving relationship, children learn to identify and reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and those of others. Roots of Empathy classrooms also foster an inclusive environment and encourage children to better understand the perspective of others.
The power of a secure relationship between an infant and parent is the first and most powerful model of empathy. Through experiential learning in the classroom where all children benefit from observing the loving attachment relationship between the infant and parent who visit the classroom nine times through the school year. The Instructor uses this experiential learning to help children reflect on their own temperaments and development. The children come to understand that while they are all different, they share the same feelings. When the children find the humanity in the baby, they then find it in themselves and one another – empathy. By the end of the year this change from within results in an increase in self-regulation, resilience and wellbeing. The program also benefits the infant’s parents, classroom teachers, and school staff and as each child becomes more caring, helpful and inclusive within their classroom, they carry those behaviours to their homes, school hallways and community environment.
Watch this 2-min video for a quick intro to Roots of Empathy.