- Hub staff

They're just marking their first birthdays, but seventeen tiny teachers' were celebrated today for their part in teaching some very important life lessons to nearly 400 students from across Grey Bruce over the past school year.babies3
Participating with their parents in the area's first Roots of Empathy program, these babies help teach children about expressing feelings, respect, inclusion, infant development and safety, and the power of a loving bond between parent and child.
At the heart of the Roots of Empathy program is a neighborhood infant and parent, who visit the classroom with a certified instructor nine times over the school year. Using a specialized curriculum, the instructor coaches the students to observe the baby's development, celebrate milestones, interact with the baby and learn about an infant's needs, feelings and unique temperament.

At one Grey Bruce School, a student continued to participate in the program with her class by Skype while she was undergoing treatment for cancer - and her tiny teacher was right on cue, smiling and slamming on the keyboard in response to her face on the screen.

At Kikendaasogamig School at Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, the tiny babies4teacher was in a kindergarten class. His mom said she would like to see the program spread through the K to 8 school, modelling real-life parenting and encouraging students to be "loving, kind-hearted champions of each other".

The next "tiny teachers" have not even been born yet! but they will be in classrooms this October. If you know a parent who would like to participate and whose baby will be between 2 and 4 months in October, please contact Amanda McManaman.
The Roots of Empathy program started in 1996 and has reached almot a million children worldwide.  Longitudanal studies show the program reduces levels of aggression and bullying among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.

The Baby Celebration is also a chance to recognize the many people who contribute to the local success of Roots of Empathy including Bluewater District, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, and Bruce Grey Catholic District School Boards as well as our community partners Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services and Kids & Us.

To learn more about Roots of Empathy, please visit

BBC World Hacks has a fabulous video here.



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