Roots of Empathy with Baby Sienna

"Exploring Emotional Milestones with Baby Sienna: A Roots of Empathy Journey"
Posted on 12/21/2023
Collage of students and baby Sienna

This month's theme in Roots of Empathy centers around the theme of Emotions—an infant's initial and, indeed, a universal language. Students experience a range of emotions in response to the baby; for instance, immense joy and pride when witnessing a first stand, and a sense of relief and pride when comforting the baby during moments of distress. The program provides students with opportunities to learn how to respond to a broad spectrum of feelings, specifically targeting the core emotions of sadness, anger, happiness, and fear. Open dialogue is encouraged for all emotions, including words such as sad, angry, happy, afraid, jealous, worried, excited, and hurt.

The Roots of Empathy class serves as a secure space and provides a rich vocabulary for the open sharing of emotions, profoundly impacting the affective developmental aspect of children's education. Emotions play a crucial role in shaping children's general perception of themselves. It's important to distinguish between self-concept (how we think of ourselves) and self-esteem (how we feel about ourselves). Equipping students with the language to identify their self-perception and offering them the opportunity to explore their feelings is a key aspect of the program.

A recent visit with our Roots of Empathy family was truly delightful for all. Baby Sienna has achieved numerous milestones this month—sporting two new teeth, crawling, holding toys, sitting up independently, and standing with assistance from both mom and abuela (grandma). The collaboration between grade 7 and kindergarten students during these moments was a source of great excitement. Together, they shared in the joy of singing 'Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer' to baby Sienna, observing her responses and reflecting on their own feelings in return.

Students and staff look forward to the next visit with Mrs. Morales, Abuela, Maria (sister), and baby Sienna. As the holiday season approaches, HWCDSB extends warm wishes for a blessed Christmas and joyous New Year to our Roots of Empathy community. We eagerly await the continuation of our journey with the Roots family in the New Year. Heartfelt thanks for the unwavering support of our program. We feel privileged and grateful for the opportunity to share in the joy of baby Sienna, your most precious gift.

collage of students and baby in Roots of Empathy program