Seeds of Empathy
Seeds of Empathy is a program for children aged 3 – 5 years that is delivered in child care centres or pre-school settings. Seeds of Empathy is the ‘younger sibling’ of the Roots of Empathy program which is directed at elementary school-aged children.
The goals of the SOE program are to:
- Foster the development of empathy in children aged 3 - 5 years;
- Support the acquisition of early literacy/numeracy skills and attitudes in children aged 3 - 5 years;
- Prevent aggression in children aged 3 - 5 years; and
- Support and train early childhood educators in creating and maintaining empathic and inclusive learning communities.
The core components of the SOE program are the family visits and literacy circles. Family visits bring a parent and baby from the community into the child care setting where a family guide encourages the children to observe the baby’s development, label the baby’s feelings, and talk about their own feelings and those of others. Literacy circles are designed around a set of children’s literature, with a literacy coach reading to the children and using stories to help the children explore their own feelings as well as the perspective of others.
Supported by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Seeds of Empathy has been implemented in 14 Aboriginal sites, both on and off reserve, across BC.