Chinook's Edge School Division's Roots of Empathy is discovering what elementary aged children can learn from a baby. The program gives the opportunity for students to connect with a parent and baby to improve emotional literacy and empathy.  

“It is so great to have this research-based program in our classroom, to learn about empathy through observations of baby Charlie,” said Shaylyn Johnson, teacher at River Valley School. “This will help students understand cues and emotions about how others are feeling in our classroom and beyond. We have visited with baby Charlie a few times, and the students are very respectful and so calm that she fell asleep at one point! They are very excited to see her growth over the year, to see the changes as she develops. 

The students in Shaylyn Johnson’s grade 2 class of River Valley School in Sundre have been doing well in program. She believes the program will help them treat their fellow classmates better too.  

“The program asks students how the baby is feeling. If she’s feeling mad, how do they know that? What could they do to make her happy? Why might she be mad, for example, for different emotions the baby has. This will translate to understanding their peers. It’s all very positive,” added Johnson.