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News Skip Navigation LinksNew parents! Volunteer with your babies for virtual Roots of Empathy program

Oct 14
New parents! Volunteer with your babies for virtual Roots of Empathy program

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Surrey Schools is looking for parents of new babies to join Roots of Empathy (ROE), a program where elementary school children learn to understand how another person feels through interaction with newborns.

Heading into its 17th year, this social emotional learning program teaches elementary students to care for and respect one another through perspective-taking opportunities with a community baby and their caregiver. Research shows involvement in ROE decreases bullying and aggression while encouraging positive and prosocial behaviour in the students involved.

While it is being offered virtually this year, the program has previously been in elementary classrooms throughout the district and has taught thousands of children the power of empathy.

The district is searching for parent volunteers whose babies will be two to four months old in November, December or January. Volunteers are asked to participate virtually through photos and videos.

Led by an ROE instructor and working with the classroom teacher and selected family, the program is 10 sessions of 10-15 minutes, with flexible start dates from mid-October through January. Depending on the start date, sessions may run until June.

Parent volunteers would help students learn about their babies as well as themselves, their feelings, their temperament traits and their relationships with family and others – all while watching the infant grow, learn and develop.

For more information, contact Sharon Jackson at Safe Schools at 604-595-6194 or jackson_sharon@surreyschools.ca.

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