Roots of Empathy 

changing the world, child by child

Become an Instructor

Become a Roots FAmily

Become a Roots School

Become a Roots of Empathy School

Want to help reduce bullying, aggression and violence in your school? Want to surround your students with a positive and lasting experience that will help them to become role models and future leaders?

Roots of Empathy is delivered on-site in your classroom during regular school hours, using a specialized curriculum which is developmentally appropriate for primary/elementary children.

This international, evidence-based classroom program has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.

Children in Roots of Empathy classrooms:

  • develop executive functioning skills
  • develop emotional literacy
  • develop emotional regulation
  • develop resilience
  • learn to challenge cruelty and injustice
  • learn to form consensus, contributing to a culture of caring in the classroom

The Instructor visits before and after each family visit to prepare and reinforce teachings using a specialized lesson plan for each visit.

To learn more about becoming a Roots of Empathy school in Lane County, contact 90by30 Associate Director Sara Loveless at

1st and 2nd grade classrooms

children impacted in lane county

classroom visits over the course of one school year

Invite Roots of Empathy Into Your Classroom

Would you like to help foster social and emotional competence in children in your community? Hear what Roots of Empathy teachers have to say about their experiences with the program.

applying empathy in the classroom

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Roots of Empathy?

Why choose Roots of Empathy as your school’s social and emotional learning or bullying prevention program? Because it works. Researchers have a gold standard for school-based programs. Roots of Empathy meets these five gold standard qualifications:

  • An accredited curriculum: The Roots of Empathy curriculum is specialized for four age groups, and complements the formal school curriculum.
  • A training program: An intensive training is the first stage of a certification process for Instructors. There is annual recertification of Instructors, Mentors and Trainers.
  • A mentoring program: Roots of Empathy offers ongoing mentoring support as long as the Instructor delivers the program.
  • Ongoing professional development: Roots of Empathy provides ongoing professional development through local workshops and the Virtual Training Institute.
  • Evaluation and research: Roots of Empathy has over a dozen years of scientific research and annual evaluations from stakeholders.

What is expected from the school?

While the Roots of Empathy Instructor is responsible for preparing and delivering the lesson during the Roots of Empathy visit, the classroom teacher is an active participant in the program. Teachers who see the need for the program, who have worked in consultation with the principal, the Instructor and other school staff, and who are proactive, will see the program unfold most effectively.

Find out more about the relationship between the teacher, principal, school, and Roots of Empathy here

Overview of Classroom Visits

Pre-Family Visit

  • 9 visits total
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor without family
  • Each is 40 minutes in length
  • Focus on infant development and preparation for Family Visit
  • Students predict what changes they may see in the baby’s development at the Family Visit

Family Visit

  • 9 visits total
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor, parent(s), and baby
  • Approximately 40 minutes in length
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor guides students’ observations of the baby’s feelings, intentions, and the attachment relationship
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor demonstrates the baby’s physical and emotional development and temperament, and interacts with the baby through music (i.e., singing songs) and early learning games (e.g., peek-a-boo).
  • Students ask parent(s) questions about the baby

Post-Family Visit

  • 9 visits total
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor without family
  • Each is 40 minutes in length
  • Students reflect on their own feelings and focus on understanding the feelings of others (empathy)
  • Children’s literature and art/writing are used to foster perspective-taking, the cognitive aspect of empathy