Want to be a Roots of Empathy family?
Update! Thanks so much for your interest. We are no longer taking applications for this year. Our programs are now assigned families. We are grateful for your interest. If you’re having a baby next year…here are some timelines to consider – and yes, we’ve had families time it out.
Do you have a baby who will be 2 – 4 months in the fall? Would you like to volunteer with your baby in a Roots of Empathy classroom? We promise it will be rewarding for you and your baby, and for the students who will discover their shared humanity in your baby, themselves and each other.
If you’re interested, just complete this form and we’ll be in touch.
And to learn more, scroll down to read about what it means to be a Roots of Empathy volunteer family.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s message to you
The Heart of the Program
Families with their infants are at the heart of the Roots of Empathy program, and the experience is rewarding for all. A neighbourhood parent and infant 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 30 minutes long.
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.
Learn more about becoming a Roots of Empathy family through these resources: