Roots of Empathy Program, Part II

Family and Community Support Services – In Focus

Georgia Dubois
Director, Smoky River FCSS

In October 2015, Colby Robbins, Smoky River FCSS Roots of Empathy facilitator, introduced the program to a class at Ecole Routhier School, as well as a class at the Providence school, and will continue to go into the class three times a month for each school until the school year ends in 2016.

The Roots of Empathy baby’s mom will bring her baby into the classroom during the second unit of each of the nine themes and allow the children to observe the babies actions and how she communicates with them. The nine themes:

MEETING THE BABY – first is a celebration of the baby, which involves an introduction to the program as well as baby.

CRYING – this is to teach the students that babies cry when there is a problem and it is up to us to do the problem solving.

CARING/PLANNING FOR BABY – is used to teach the students the demands and responsibility that comes with having a baby.

EMOTIONS – is critical in the Roots of Empathy program as its focus is on teaching emotional literacy.

SLEEP – we look at the sleep cycles that babies go through and how important sleep is.

SAFETY – we celebrate baby’s milestones but we also look at the safety concerns that come with that.

COMMUNICATING – this teaches the different ways in which babies communicate to us and how we communicate with them.

WHO AM I? – a self-reflection for the students on who they are.

GOODBYE AND GOOD WISHES – finally we wrap up the year having a celebration for the baby and all of the milestones it has accomplished throughout the program. The students will also write down wishes they have for the baby and create a special gift for baby.

If you would like to become a Roots of Empathy instructor for the 2016-2017 school year, please contact Georgia Dubois at (780) 837-2220 for an interview. Training is provided and paid for through the Smoky River Family and Community Support Services funding as well as from generous donations from the community.

If you are a “mom to be” of a baby or know a “mom to be” that will have a baby who is between two and four months by October of 2016 and would like to become part of the Roots of Empathy program please contact Colby Robbins at (780) 837-2220. Check the Roots of Empathy website at

Making a difference one child at a time.

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