Roots of Empathy
Enrichment & Access
Bishop Walker School for Boys
The Bishop Walker School for Boys is a member of a consortium of independent, traditional public, and public charter schools that brought the international Roots of Empathy program to the city of Washington, DC. Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy.
The program centers on a baby and his parents who visit a classroom every three weeks over the school year. A trained Roots of Empathy instructor works with the class to observe the baby's development and label the baby's feelings. Through this experiential learning children come to identify and reflect on their own feelings and those of others. The emotional literacy taught lays the foundation for more safe and caring classrooms. Students become more competent in understanding their own feelings and the feelings of others, and will therefore be less likely to physically and psychologically hurt each other through bullying and other cruelties. The instructor also teaches a specialized lesson plan for each classroom visit.
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