Bullying Prevention Programs at OLOL - Monthly Virtue Program and Roots of Empathy
ROOTS OF EMPATHY
BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM
This letter serves as an announcement to our school community to share some exciting news that will take place in the Grade Two classroom this year. This program though will influence all students in our school. We've been invited to participate in a program called Roots of Empathy. This program teaches children about feelings, their own feelings and the feelings of others. Once every three weeks, baby Theodore and his/her parent(s) will visit the Grade Two classroom. A trained Roots of Empathy Instructor will gather the children in the classroom around a green blanket, and together they watch the baby grow.
The children predict and cheer when their Roots of Empathy baby reaches the 'developmental milestones' of the first year: “She can roll over!” “He got his first tooth!” “He can sit up!” “She can crawl!!”
The Roots of Empathy Instructor also coaches the children in observing and reading the cues the baby gives as to how the baby is feeling: “Is the baby happy or sad?” “How can you tell?” And we use this discussion as a lever for the children to talk about their own emotions and to understand how their classmates feel: “Do you smile when you're happy?” “How can you tell if your friend is happy?” Being able to understand how other people are feeling is called empathy. The Roots of Empathy Instructor also visits the classroom before and after each Family Visit to prepare and reinforce teachings using a specialized lesson plan for each visit.
For twenty years, across Canada and internationally, over 700,000 children are learning to respect and care for one another with the lessons started through their Roots of Empathy baby. This respect is always modelled by our diligent staff and students in our school community and with this program in place; we continue to learn together and from each other about our emotions and how we can be kind to one another.
We are truly excited that we've been selected to participate in Roots of Empathy.
At Our Lady of Lourdes school, as part of our Bullying Prevention Program and school Spirit development, we have also implemented, on an annual basis, our School Monthly Virtue Program. This involves practicing a different monthly virtue by all students, and striving to demonstrate the criteria taught by teachers. For example, some ways we can practice a virtue always includes treating others as you would like to be treated, forgiving easily, and just simply being nicer and more generous to others.
Ms. L. Konyt