Provincial anti-bullying programs to expand
Joined by kindergarten children at Morley elementary school, Premier Christy Clark today announced the expansion in B.C. of the internationally recognized Roots of Empathy anti-bullying program.
Clark, joined by Minister of Children and Family Development Mary McNeil, Richmond East MLA Linda Reid and Roots of Empathy founder Mary Gordon, announced the expansion of the Roots program into approximately 360 kindergarten classrooms across B.C. this year. The Seeds of Empathy program, which focuses on teaching four- and five-year-olds, will also be expanded into 22 preschools or child care settings in 2011-12.
The programs will be co-funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Education. The two ministries have committed to jointly provide $800,000 annually to support both of these programs over five years.
“Both of these programs offer an enlightened way of opening children’s eyes to the world around them, and teaching young children about empathy, trust, and encouraging kindness with one another,” said Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development.
An anti-bullying classroom program for elementary school students, the Roots of Empathy program actively promotes respectful, kind behaviour and addresses aggressive behaviours such as bullying, harassment, violence and intimidation.
The Roots of Empathy program was founded in Canada in 1996 by Mary Gordon, an internationally recognized educator, social entrepreneur, author and child advocate.
Roots of Empathy and Seeds of Empathy are evidence-based programs with positive track records in promoting empathy and compassion in children.