Grants at Work:Roots of Empathy
by Maegan Sewell
The Community Foundation was proud to
return to grant-giving in the fall of 2009, and was thrilled to be invited to follow up on how one of these grants is impacting the community. Roots of Empathy is a classroom-based
program that concentrates on introducing chil- dren to a level of empathy proven to reduce lev- els of aggression and increase levels of pro-social behaviour. This is attained by allowing the stu- dents to observe an infant and parent who visit their classroom once a month from September to June. The students learn to identify with the needs of the baby and consider their own feel- ings as well as those of others. There are currently seven Roots of
Empathy programs in Medicine Hat. The majority of these programs are engaging students at the grade one level; however Roots can be formatted for classrooms up to grade nine. One of Root’s
At the December 2, 2009 Chair's Reception, the Community Foundation was pleased to present the following organizations with community grants:
• Kids Help Phone
• Easter Seals Society Alberta
• Roots of Empathy
• Big Brothers/Sisters $1684.00 • CORE
• Canadian Mental Health Assoc. of Alberta
• Grasslands Regional
Family and Community Support Services Society
• Schizophrenia Society of Alberta
• Southview Out of School Care
Total CF Grants
$13,500 $3960.00 $1500.00
The staff and board of the Community Foundation are thankful for the assistance of all volunteer board and committee members. It is with sadness this June that we say farewell to three board members who have completed six years of service to our organization. Your many hours spent contributing to the service of our community are appreciated!
• LINDA LEHR, VICE CHAIR • KELLY BYERS, TREASURER
"We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give." -- Winston Churchill
THANK YOU...DR. SHANN SNEDDEN, CHAIR
$4292.00 $4000.0 0
goals for our region is to get the program into all grade one classrooms so all students are involved in the program at least once during their schooling.
for theprogram The students included in the program
meet with their instructor once a week and brain storm questions to ask the parent about the baby during the family visit. They also learn about safety for a baby, the baby’s needs and what the baby likes. In the fall of 2009, Roots of Empathy
received a grant from the Community Foundation for $6000. This money is being directed to train- ing three new instructors for Roots in Medicine Hat.
Melanie Connellan was one of the first par-
ents involved with Roots of Empathy in Medicine Hat. She now works with Roots of Empathy as a volunteer, doing things such as recruiting instruc- tors. When asked what she felt was one of the greatest results Roots has on our community, Connellan said there is more than one way our community benefits: family contributing and non violent behaviour are two of the key outcomes.
As As Donor Relations Coordinator f oordinatorfor th the
Community Foundation, I visited St. Louis school to observe a family visit with a grade one and two class. I found the students were riveted by baby Emily. Many of the children were very concerned with why Emily was unhappy and were asking Michelle, Emily’s mother, to try many different things such as feeding her, giving her toys, etc. to make her happy. The Roots of Empathy instruc- tor, Robbie, discussed routine with the class, and how important it was to a baby like Emily. She related the baby’s routine to the students’ own, which gave them an understanding of how her routine was crucial, just like theirs. Roots of Empathy has a proven track
record, and with so much new knowledge of human development, there is no questioning the extensive benefit Roots has on a community like ours.
Roots of Empathy is in need of three more
instructors for the Medicine Hat area. If you, or someone you know are interested, please visit www.rootsofempathy.org for more information.
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