family
The heart of Roots of Empathy is the neighborhood parent and infant who join the Instructor in the classroom for Family Visits. A Roots of Empathy Instructor visits the classroom 27 times over the school year, and for nine of these visits, (about every three weeks), the Roots of Empathy family joins the Instructor in the classroom. Each Family Visit is about 45 minutes long. Just nine visits during a school year can help children learn about infant safety, infant development, and child abuse prevention.

The Power Of The Family
The Roots of Empathy family demonstrates the parent-child attachment and attunement relationship and the baby’s development over the year. Families representing diversity by race, language, culture or religion are invited to participate, demonstrating that a loving parent-infant relationship transcends differences and that there is no one right way to be a good parent.

Principles Of Social Inclusion Are Fundamental To The Roots Of Empathy Program
We encourage representation of all types of families; single parents are as welcome as dual-parent families. Fathers and/or mothers are equally welcome to participate, since we focus on the parent-child bond. We encourage participation of parents from marginalized populations. Roots of Empathy welcomes babies who have a physical or developmental challenge and we will provide special support to the Instructor.

The Roots of Empathy Family Experience
At the start of the year, the Roots of Empathy Instructor visits the family’s home to talk about how the program works and will answer any questions. The Instructor will call before each of the 9 classroom visits to talk about the theme for the next visit and to discuss any questions the students have asked since the last Family Visit.

The Roots of Empathy classroom is a participatory democracy where all children are encouraged to contribute and ask questions and we will ask the parent(s) to share with the students how it feels to be a parent and to talk about how your baby is growing and learning. Your baby will be loved by every student and be a star in the school and your family will be helping to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies.

In order for the students to observe as much of the first year of life as possible, we welcome babies born in May, June and July of each year so that our Tiny Teacher will be 2–4 months old when the program begins in September. All participating families receive a gift card to thank them for their participation.

If you or someone you know has welcomed a baby in May, June, or July and might be interested in volunteering, please be in touch with the Roots of Empathy Coordinator, Courtney Custer at (505 ) 301 3036 or ccuster.swfgc@gmail.com.