In 2017, 90by30 brought Roots of Empathy founder and president Mary Gordon to our conference as they keynote speaker. Many of our regions had expressed interested in including the school-based pogram, which teaches children empathy while reducing aggression and and bullying, in their prevention plans. In Fall 2018, Roots of Empathy will become the second flagship strategy, following the Welcome Baby Box, to debut in Lane County.
Since its founding in 1996, Roots of Empathy has expanded from Canada to eleven countries on three continents. An elementary- school classroom is paired with an infant, caregiver, and a volunteer instructor who delivers the ROE curriculum over 27 classroom visits. The infant and parent visit the classroom every three weeks, while the instructor also visits the weeks before and after to prepare and reinforce teachings using a specialized lesson plan.
To build the capacity of the next generation for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting; to create caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults - these are the goals of Roots of Empathy. These are goals that 90by30 shares, and for this reason we're excited to bring ROE to elementary classrooms in all five of our rural regions.
ROE staff from Toronto and Seattle traveled to Eugene in August to get our instructors up to speed, and now the program is live in schools from Florence to Cottage Grove to Junction City. We owe a huge thanks to our rural teams for stepping up to recruit babies as well as instructors, and now our those instructor/infant/caregiver teams are delivering the program to local elementary schoolers.