Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Special Visitor at Blackville School

William with his mother, Alisha Brophy
Grade 2 students in Mrs. Sobey's class at Blackville School have a special visitor this year.

Baby William Emery Newman and his mother, Alisha Brophy, come about every two weeks to visit the class.

Desks are moved and a large green blanket is laid on the floor; the blanket is called the "safe zone."

The children will sit on the blanket and sing and talk to the baby and his mother. William is then measured and the measurements are compared to his measurements from the last visit. 

Each visit has a different theme, some examples of previous themes are crying, teething and caring.

The children learn about what to do in situations where the baby is crying, teething, or need caring; learning these things will help the children in many different areas in life.

Not only do the students learn about caring for a baby in different situations, but they learn about basic knowledge and being kind to others; they learn about being gentle and they learn that everyone is unique. Roots of Empathy helps to reduce bullying and promotes empathy.

The classroom program is very popular around the world and is in ten countries, three continents and in three languages.

According to the Roots of Empathy website, the program "has dramatic effects in reducing levels of aggression among school children by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy."

The website says the goals of the program are "to foster the development of empathy, to develop emotional literacy, to reduce levels of bullying, aggression and violence, and promote children’s pro-social behaviours."

More goals mentioned are "to increase knowledge of human development, learning, and infant safety, and to prepare students for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting."

To see more photos of William and the class, click here.

By Samantha Arsenault
Photos by Samantha Arsenault and Jules Keenan