Often there are times in Roots of Empathy when a student hangs back, and doesn’t want to participate fully. We’re fine with that – we respect a child’s wish. But we know they watch. And they watch carefully. Such was the case with a Grade 5 student in Alberta during our 6th family visit in the year.
He has been part of Roots of Empathy for two years in a row now. But he’s never taken part. In fact, in the 5th visit he didn’t even want to be in the classroom. But something happened between the 5th and 6th visits. Having hung back during the first visits, out of the blue, he told the Instructor he wanted to sing a nursery rhyme to the baby. So she invited him on the blanket to sing one on one to the baby. He chose to sing a round of “All Around the Mulberry Bush.”
But the baby didn’t look up. Didn’t even notice him.
So the boy started singing the song again.
And the baby looked up.
The boy sang it a third time and this time the baby was completely hooked.
He stared and stared at the boy. And then he smiled.
“This is perhaps one of the most heartfelt moments I have had throughout ANY of my programs,” Roots of Empathy Instructor, Darcy Hoover, told us.
When we posted this to social media, this story got thousands of reads. We emailed Darcy to thank her, and this was her response: “Good Morning everyone. Despite the dump of snow I woke up to, this message was such a beautiful thing to see first thing in the morning! I’m glad that I was able to share it and I’m even more grateful for the impact that the Roots of Empathy program has world wide! The class was so excited when I told them their baby is “famous.” As a quick follow up, this student has now been fully engaged in the program. He now sits right beside me in every lesson and is actively participating. The teacher has also said that she has noticed a difference in him in the classroom with day to day learning and peer participation.”
It was about connection at its best.
Have you seen an impact in a Roots of Empathy program? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org