Roots of Empathy wraps up at PCA



"Baby Judah" (Brown); Mom, Rachel Brown;  Kneehill Community Resource Program  Family Resource Worker, Yvonne Wilson; Prairie Christian Academy Grade 4 teacher, Erin Kaupp, and the entire grade four class, came together for their final meeting of their Roots of Empathy program on Tuesday, May 15. The class had been following the growth and development of "baby Judah" over a 27 week course. Once every three weeks, baby Judah and his mother met with the Grade 4 class. The students charted the growth, and predicted what he would be able to do by the next visit. They measured, weighed, and observed the many developmental milestones such as reaching for a toy, rolling over, sitting up, and awaited his crawling. The latter was an "almost but not quite" on the 15th.
The students, in describing the highlights and what they had appreciated mentioned the particular thrill to have watched as Judah "rolled over" for the first time during the visit. It was new to Mom too! They also noticed that in one particular toy, he was "attracted" to 'black and white' rather than the bright colours. They also recognized that the development of one child compared to another, did not necessarily follow a close "schedule", and that among some of their own family members one might be several weeks "ahead" of another in some areas and "behind" in others.
The class presented a gift bag to baby Judah and Mom, including his very special T-shirt acknowledging his role as "Teacher", and an album with pictures and observations and their own "wishes" for him. The meeting had begun with their own song of welcome, "Hello baby Judah" and ended with "Goodbye baby Judah". And partway through Judah delighted in their singing "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree."  A frozen fruit treat was then enjoyed by all, and baby Judah experienced another "first" as he tried an orange popsicle.
The Roots of Empathy program 'fosters the development of empathy through discussion and activities in subjects including literature, math, music, art and science' and was presented also in Trochu Valley 2 Grade 1 classes, Carbon 1 Grade 1 class; Dr. Elliot (Linden) 1 Grade 1 class. Three Family Resource Workers of the Kneehill Community Resource Program are instructors for 4 of the 5 classes and there is one volunteer instructor in Trochu.
The Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) plays the role of Key Point Person and assists the program financially.