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Roots of Empathy

What is Roots of Empathy?








Our mission is to build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults.

Created in 1996 by social entrepreneur Mary Gordon, Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression - including bullying - among primary and elementary school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. In Canada, the program is delivered in all ten provinces, in English and French and reaches rural, urban and remote communities including Aboriginal communities. Roots of Empathy is also delivered on three continents, and in multiple languages.

(Taken from the Roots of Empathy Information for Parents 2014)

Roots of Empathy Goals

  • To foster the development of empathy

  • To develop emotional literacy

  • To reduce levels of bullying, aggression, and violence and promote children's pro-social behaviours

  • To increase knowledge of human development, learning and infant safety

  • To prepare students for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting

(Taken from the Roots of Empathy Program Information for Schools 2007)


Do you have a baby that could be a Roots of Empathy Baby?


Are you a proud parent with a new baby?

You and your baby could be a Roots of Empathy Family!

Roots of Empathy is a program for elementary school  children. The program's aim is to increase empathy - the ability to understand how another person feels.

Children learn to care for and respect each other, and there is less bullying and aggression.

Be a Roots of Empathy Family:

  • A baby with one or both parents visits a local classroom over the course of a year with a Roots of Empathy Instructor

  • The visits are about 30 minutes long, once a month starting in October

  • The program helps children to learn about a baby's needs and how babies develop and lets children observe the loving relationship between a parent and baby.

  • Babies must be between 2 and 4 months old in October

For more information please email the Child and Youth Program Coordinator at

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