Did you know you and your baby can help grade school students build relationships and emotional skills? Roots of Empathy is an evidence based program created to help children identify with another person’s feelings by identifying emotions they see in a baby. The long term focus of the program is to build the emotional capacity of the next generation. In the short term, it results in more respectful and caring relationships, as well as, reduces the levels of bullying and aggression.
The program involves a parent volunteering to bring their baby between the ages of two months to one year to the same classroom nine times over a school year. A trained instructor helps the children notice the baby’s developments and feelings. Babies cannot tell someone how they feel, so the children learn to read the baby’s signals. As children label the baby’s feelings, they become more competent in understanding their own feelings and the feelings of others (empathy) and are less likely to physically- or emotionally hurt another person. Roots of Empathy educates both the mind and the heart.
The Albuquerque chapter is looking for parent and baby volunteers for the 2017-2018 school year. If your baby was born in May, June or July, consider volunteering for Roots of Empathy. The program requires a primary caregiver to participate in the classroom. Your child will be observed from the safety of your arms and will not be touched or passed around the classroom. This is an opportunity for you and your child to be a loving teacher. If you are interested in participating, call Labor of Love for a referral at 505.727.7677.
Quotes from children about their classroom baby:
“I wish that Madelyn would smile forever and never stop smiling. Her smile would cheer up the world.” – 11 yr old student
“I wish that Jade will be loved and stay safe.” -8 yr old student
“I wish for Sascha to never give up on anything.” -12 yr old student
This blog submitted by Catherine Roth, Certified Community Health Worker with Lovelace Labor of Love.