Program helps students develop empathy
The Bonnyville FCSS is looking for persons interested in becoming an instructor for the Roots of Empathy Program at local schools. Leanne Doonanco, with the Key Point Person for the Roots of Empathy program at the FCSS, says interested people would be trained on the program; which is taught to grade 4 students.
“The instructors teach the programs in the schools, once a week, for an hour or so,” the programs runs 27 weeks, says Doonanco. “They don’t have to be nurses or anything like that. There is criteria, like a police check,” but other training can be done after you’ve committed, explains Doonanco. The program has been running at local schools for five years. Over the years instructors have changed due to various circumstances and now there is only one instructor for Duclos Elementary and Dr. Brosseau Middle School. The FCSS would like to attract four to six more instructors to keep up with the demand for the class from the schools.
While the instructors go in once a week, the babies go in once a month with mom or dad. Students watch the babies grow, explains Doonanco, “the kids connect with the baby.” The parent stays with the baby during classroom time and the kids are giving rules in regards to when and how they can touch or handle the baby. Ideally, a baby would be three to four months old in September to participate in the program.
If you are interested in becoming an instructor or if you and your baby would like to participate in the program, contact Leeanne at the Bonnyville FCSS 780-826-2120.