Thursday, 19 November 2009

In The News: Roots of Empathy celebrated in Wellington

Long time readers might remember that I've blogged about this amazing programme called Roots of Empathy before, and yesterday there was an article on Stuff about it:
Schoolboys have been going gaga over the unorthodox teachers of an "emotional literacy" trial, which supporters say is here to stay.

Under the Roots of Empathy programme, newborn babies – and their parents – take over the classroom once every three weeks, so pupils can watch their development.

The programme, which will run in some classrooms again next year, aims to teach pupils empathy, and to reduce aggression and bullying.

Volunteer mother Shevaugn Gallagher said it was not just pupils who were educated.

"The boys were most surprising. They were just really, really excited about it. Sometimes it was the boys who came up [to greet us] faster than the girls.

"It definitely opened [my] eyes."

All the pupils in the class, especially the boys, had wanted to hold her year-old son, Blake Kidd.

Ngati Toa Primary School pupil Myah Hohaia-Chapman, 11, said her class had fallen in love with Blake.

"It's kind of strange ... I've never really [seen] boys get excited about that."

She would miss Blake when she moved on to intermediate, she said.

"[Blake] has shown us all so much about [our] feelings and about how others may be feeling."
Click through for the rest.

If I have another child, and I'm in a position at that time to help out, I'd love to do Roots of Empathy as a parent. I first heard about it through my father who gave me a flyer on it when I was pregnant with Wriggly. As it turned out I wasn't in a very good place to do the programme when Wriggly was little, but it sounds incredibly worthwhile, not just for the school kids involved but also for the parents, babies and teachers.


The ex-expat said...

If have a baby, I'd love to do that programme as well!

Azlemed said...

Do they run it in other parts of the country, I would love to do something like that.