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Empathy starts early at Treehouse Learning Centre

By Lorraine Graves

Published 4:16 PDT, Wed June 26, 2019

Baby Oliver’s final visit to Treehouse Early Learning centre where, as a busy and exuberant new walker, he takes his first steps for his audience of preschoolers. This is their last, after many visits, with this charming baby.

Baby Oliver’s final visit to Treehouse Early Learning centre where, as a busy and exuberant new walker, he takes his first steps for his audience of preschoolers. This is their last, after many visits, with this charming baby.

The Seeds of Empathy program teaches empathy while it also teaches young children about the growth and development of infants.

The preschoolers see the baby and his mom at regular intervals, beginning as a newborn and ending around one year of age.

“The joy on the faces of the preschoolers as they welcomed baby Oliver warmed my heart,” said MLA Linda Reid.

Seeds of Empathy is designed to foster empathy and social skills as well as literacy and a love of reading in children three to five years old. It also provides professional development for the educators.

The program teaches through a series of themes, each on a three-week cycle. During the first and second weeks of each cycle, literacy coaches, specially-trained staff members, read and discuss books with small groups of children.

In the third week, a family guide, who is another specially-trained staff member, hosts a family visit, where a small baby visits the centre with one of their parents. The visits last for half an hour.

The family guide encourages the children to observe the baby’s development, to label the baby’s feelings, and to talk about both their own feelings and those of others. The intention is to lead to greater empathy for others in the young students.

If you have a newborn and would like to be a “roots mom and baby” please contact Seeds of Empathy.

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