Saturday, March 13, 2010

International Women's Day 2010 - Part Two

My little cutie, Emmanuelle

To continue where I left off in the last post about this past Monday, I had to leave the wonderful YWCA luncheon at about 12:55 PM so I could get Emmanuelle to the Banff Elementary School. We are part of an incredible program called Roots of Empathy. I have been wanting to write a post about it since October.

Roots of Empathy was founded by educator Mary Gordon in Canada in 1996. It is an "evidence-based classroom program, its mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies – child by child – through the development of empathy in children." The goal of the program is to raise a generation of more empathetic children and to reduce bullying and aggression while teaching respect and caring. This is done by introducing a baby to classroom of children, in our case a first grade class. The mom and/or dad bring the child to the classroom so that the students can watch the baby develop over the course of a school year. There are pre and post baby visits with the instructor and the class so they can talk about how they think the baby has changed and then to assess the changes. There are topics each visit, such as what is in a diaper bag, how to keep a baby safe, or how parents communicate with their child. We sit on a green blanket in the middle of the children and they ask me questions and watch Emmanuelle. We volunteered to take part in ROE this summer when a friend of mine who works for the school asked us if we would be interested. I had read about it in the local newspaper and thought it was a great program and that I would like to be a part of it. As luck would have it, Emmanuelle was born at the right time of the year for her to be the right age when the school year began. The program started in Alberta in 2008. It has reached more than 270,000 children in 11,000 classrooms worldwide. It is really fun to go each month and to see how the kids react to Emmanuelle and she reacts to them. If you ever hear of this program in your area and have a child who could participate, it is really a wonderful program. I would have more images to share with you, but I want to respect the privacy of the school kids. If you want to know more, go to the Roots of Empathy site or leave me a comment.

We arrived at the school about 1:05 PM and were done about 1:30 PM, then headed off to meet up with Quin at her World Dance class. Thanks to Dominique, she was happily dancing when I arrived, and Emmanuelle and I joined her. My good friend, Kim, teaches the class, which is filled with moms and cuties who learn about dance and music. I have a background in dance, so I love it just as much as Quin. By 2 PM, all was over and it was time to relax. We ended my busy day with a nice relaxing snack at Wild Flours Bakery as the first snow in weeks fell softly outside. A great day!


Sandra said...

One thing I miss about living in an urban area is the bountiful opportunities for female companionship.
Looks like a great time was had by all.

robayre said...

I always find out about the coolest things through you. My brother and sister in law just had a baby. I wonder if they have chapters in the US.

Tiffany Teske said...

Hi Sandra :) I know what you mean, I have lived in towns with as little as 265 people and on a small island. I think that is the cool thing about blogging and the internet, even in a rural area you don't need to feel isolated.

Robyn, I think there are tons of chapters in the US. Did you find out? Congrats on being an auntie!