Roots of Empathy began in Ontario with a pilot in Toronto in 1996.
Ontario became the first province to embrace Roots of Empathy programs for elementary school children and where we co-piloted the Seeds of Empathy program for children 3-5 years old in childcare centres.
Ontario is home to our international office as well as our Centre of Excellence school – a research laboratory where we test and pilot innovative practices. Visitors and media come from around the world to see excellence in action in Ontario schools. A recent example is BBC World Hacks video which has had 24 million views worldwide, showcasing an Ontario Grade 4 classroom.
We deliver more programs and train more Instructors in Ontario than anywhere else, with strong support from 58 Ontario school boards – 76% of all boards in Ontario.
What Ontario teachers and students say
“Roots of Empathy has allowed the children to learn about healthy growth and development. This program also allowed the students to recognize that we are all different and that we must appreciate one another's differences. The students were more sensitive to each other's feelings and circumstances. I found that they were more respectful of one another's ideas and opinions and supported one another. They were also advocating for the rights of themselves and their classmates.”Grade 2/3 teacherPic Mobert First Nation
“I feel the children in our classroom are visibly more empathetic and have stronger emotional literacy skills...If a child is hurt or needs help on the playground, you will see a handful of my students surround the child and acknowledge, assist, problem solve, and/or seek an adult's help...It makes me proud to be their educator.”Early Childhood Educator, KindergartenWinona, ON
“Children are often noticed hugging each other and showing concerns when they see their friend is not happy!”Seeds of Empathy Literacy CoachCaledon, ON
“The Roots of Empathy program can teach the world "what it means to be empathetic and to put yourself in others' shoes. It also teaches the world that to make good choices you must take care of others' feelings, you must understand others' feelings, and, most of all, you must know when to say certain words. I know all this from the program. And it made me a better person.”Grade 5 studentRichmond Hill, ON
“97% of teachers feel that the Roots of Empathy program supports the school’s curriculum.”
“91% of teachers strongly agreed or agreed that as a result of Roots of Empathy, students are more able to understand other people’s points of view.”
“92% of students reported that if they saw a friend being bullied or treated meanly, they would help them.”