Smoky River Family and Community Support Services – In Focus

Crystal Marschner
Family and Youth Program Coordinator

Roots of Empathy Part II

The program is designed for Kindergarten all the way to grade 8 and involves nine themes each consisting of three units.

In each theme, there is a pre-family visit, family visit and a post-family visit.

It is during the family visit that baby visits the classroom and the children are then able to connect with the infant and learn how to tell how the baby is feeling based on the cues that baby is giving.

Roots of Empathy has been recognized by the Dalai Lama and the World Health Organization, among others.

The organization works in partnership with Indigenous people globally and has been endorsed in Canada by National Chief Shawn A-in-Chut Atleo (and former Chief Phil Fontaine) of the Assembly of First Nations.

For the 2018 – 2019 school year Crystal Marschner, Roots of Empathy facilitator, plans to provide the program to two classes at Ecole Routhier School as well and one class at Heritage School.

Marie Anne Jones, another Roots of Empathy instructor is planning to provide the program to one class at the Providence school.

Throughout the school year, they will continue to go into the class three times a month for each class until the school year ends in 2019.

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 baby’s actions and how she communicates with them.

If you are interested in becoming a Roots of Empathy family, please contact Crystal at (780) 837-2220 or


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