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The Roots of Empathy program was offered at Maurice Williams Elementary School this year in absentia, with one person sitting in the community garden.

Catherine Blackwell, Early Years Awareness Officer for Career Dean Family Services, who directly supports Lake Baby people, supported this year’s program. “Roots of Empathy” teach children from an early age to care for, empathize, and improve mutual understanding by watching the first years of a newborn’s life.

“I’m extremely passionate about this program: the benefits it has brought to many children in our community. It is an international school-age program aimed at developing compassion in children. “It has been scientifically proven to increase caring, kindness, understanding how other people feel watching the development of a 2-4 month old baby in the first year of life,” said Blackwell, who has volunteered for the program for seven years. as a mother with her son Haydn in the past.

“The most important thing about this program is the connection that children have with their teacher (child). It is through their observations of children’s development that they learn how the brain works, how children develop (possible events), and learn about body language (how a child feels without being able to tell us). Then the motivator’s job is to incorporate all of these potential factors into the children by discussing how they feel and how they can help others. ”

This year the program was held at Maurice Williams Elementary School in the 1/2 grade. Up to 13 students were present, with two teachers and their support staff. Because of COVID 19, the program changed with the students in the classroom, Blackwell via Zoom և The family was also actually present from their home. Students had the opportunity to meet the baby in person at the community garden.

“Our amazing teacher Baby Marie, her mother Kayla Alec, my father Lance Hunt wanted to participate. We are very grateful they did.” said Blackwell.

The Begins program begins sometime in October during the school year and ends in June of that year. Newborns are two to four months old.

“This period is very important for children to be able to watch, to witness many places, to talk about the child’s development, neurology, hopes, stability, compassion,” he said.

The program has previously been hosted at William Conkin Elementary School, Decker Lake Elementary School, and Maurice Williams Elementary School. Through previous teachers, Maurice Williams Kindergarten also ran this program on their school premises.

“It was a common program in our region, but due to the lack of funding instructors, many schools had to go without a program. “I know it affects the lives of children by seeing children in the community in the past,” he said.

This year, Lake Babine Nation has pledged to have two new Roots of Compassion groups in the fall, and Blackwell is now the community’s sole instructor.

“It was a difficult year, but we made it happen. Most importantly, the children were able to have a forum where they could talk about how they were feeling. “Many hands do light work, thanks to the continued efforts of families, principals, deputy principals, teachers, support staff, and children in our Burns Lake community,” he said.

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