Langley’s tiny teachers celebrate

The Roots of Empathy program is growing in Langley schools

The world’s youngest teachers celebrated another year of teaching social and emotional learning to Langley’s elementary students. Five ‘tiny teachers’ and their caregivers who participated in the Roots of Empathy program were at the year-end celebration that includes tummy time, playing and interacting and a thank yous in the library of Blacklock Fine Arts School May 31.

There is a lot to celebrate too.

The Roots Of Empathy program is growing in Langley. This year, it ran eight programs. Regional co-ordinator Adrianna Austin said they hope to have 18 programs for the 2017/18 school year.

Roots of Empathy is hosting instructor training at the end of August and plan to train 10 elementary resource teachers to each deliver a program at 10 elementary schools, said Austin.

Babies who take part in the program start out between two to four months of age and will make nine visits to a classroom in a year.

The Roots of Empathy trained instructor makes an additional 18 visits to the classroom. During these visits the instructor coaches students to observe the baby’s development and to label the baby’s feelings and intentions.

The baby is the catalyst that helps young students identify and reflect on their own feelings and feelings of others. The program has proven to increase social and emotional competence.

They may be the tiniest teachers in Langley’s school system, but the impact they are making in young students’ lives is huge. SEE LAST YEAR’S STORY HERE

Babies and their moms visit Langley elementary school classrooms, bringing the Roots of Empathy program to primary students with the idea that they, in turn, will become more empathetic, caring people because of it.

Research on the Roots of Empathy program has demonstrated that the students who participate in this program display lower levels of aggression and higher levels of pro-social behavior (sharing, caring, etc.) than their peers who do not receive the program.

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