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Sudbury Catholic Schools Celebrate End of First Year of Roots of Empathy Program

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Sudbury Catholic Schools Roots of Empathy mothers and their babies join Board staff, ROE instructors and volunteers at a celebration marking the successful conclusion of year of the ROE program. The mother and infant teams spent a great deal of quality time with the Board’s students over the course of the school year helping to teach an innovative classroom program about empathy and emotional literacy.

June 15, 2008 - The Sudbury Catholic District School Board honoured its Roots of Empathy Babies, the world's youngest teachers, from across the City of Greater Sudbury on Monday, June 9, 2008 at the Catholic Education Centre. For the past ten months, these one-year-olds have worked with the Board's students by teaching an innovative classroom program about empathy and social/emotional literacy.

Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program which has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression and violence among schoolchildren while raising social emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program focuses on raising levels of empathy, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression. The heart of the program is a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom once a month for the full school year. A certified Instructor works with a specialized curriculum to coach students in observing baby's development, celebrating milestones, interacting with baby and learning about infant needs and temperament.

One of the many positive outcomes of Roots of Empathy program is the fact that it creates a bridge from student to student, and from student to teacher. The end result creates a feeling of empathy among the students and a basis for dialogue as children learn to identify and name their emotions.

Sudbury Catholic Schools, Director of Education, Catherine McCullough along with the Boards Senior Administrative Team, ROE Instructors, Teachers, staff and parents showed their appreciation for the Roots of Empathy Mothers and their babies in helping to make the first year of this program a tremendous success in a special reception held in their honour.

Sudbury Catholic Schools would like to thank all Roots of Empathy mothers, babies, instructors, teachers, staff and volunteers for participating in this program.

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