Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy has been called "Canada's olive branch to the world."

A charitable organization, our mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. Our vision is to change the world - child by child.

Roots of Empathy is considered a model of social innovation. We have two programs: a flagship program of the same name for children in elementary school (Roots of Empathy) and its "younger sibling," a program for children ages three-to-five in early childhood settings called Seeds of Empathy.

The Roots of Empathy program was founded in Canada in 1996 by Mary Gordon, an internationally recognized educator, social entrepreneur, author and child advocate, and today has reached more than 373,000 children worldwide.
At the heart of the program are classroom visits by an infant and parent. Through guided observations of this loving relationship, children learn to identify and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings and those of others. Independent evaluations consistently show children who receive Roots of Empathy experience dramatic and lasting effects in terms of increased positive social behaviour (sharing, helping and including) and decreased aggression.

The quilt pictured above hangs in the school and has a leaf for each baby that has been a part of the program at École West Park School.