The Roots of Empathy Program in Drumheller wrapped up its year with a final dinner for its participants, even the pint sized ones.
The Roots of Empathy program, is an evident–based program that has been successful in reducing aggression in school children, while at the same time increasing empathy. The program simply introduces a mother and child into the classroom for an experiential learning journey for students. This fosters an understanding among school children on their own feelings and the feelings of others.
This year three classrooms in Drumheller benefitted from the program. Mrs. Salvatore’s Grade 5 class at Greentree School was able to share time with Ryan Burfield, son of Regan and Mike. Miss Angeltvedt’s Grade 1 class at St. Anthony’s spent time with Parker McLellan, son of Angela and Daniel and Betina Gross and Tyler Gross had their son Gabriel come to Betina’s own Grade 1 class at St. Anthony’s this year.
The program began in October and the students received nine visits from the families. Angela McLellan said Parker loved to come to visit the class. Some days he was cranky, but when he entered the class he would brighten up.
“He enjoyed it just as much as the kids,” said Angela.
Since 2002 over 2,500 babies in Alberta have been the youngest teachers in the classroom through the Roots of Empathy Program.