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Innovative education programme to be showcased in Rotorua

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Internationally recognised, award winning educator and social entrepreneur Mary Gordon is coming to Rotorua. As part of her itinerary she will give a public talk about her innovative education programme, Roots of Empathy, on Thursday 27 November at 7.30pm at the Novotel.

Mary Gordon is the founder and president of Roots of Empathy, an innovative programme offered in more than 10 countries and has proven to reduce levels of aggression and bullying in school children by raising emotional literacy and increasing empathy. Currently six primary schools in Rotorua run the Roots of Empathy Programme.

Ms Gordon said she first started Roots of Empathy in Toronto almost 30 years ago. The programme has a local baby and parent who visit the classroom every three weeks over the course of the school year.

"A trained Roots of Empathy Instructor coaches students to observe the baby's development and to label the baby's feelings. The baby is the "teacher" and the instructor uses the baby to help children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others."

"The emotional literacy taught in the program lays the foundation for more safe and caring classrooms. The children are more competent in understanding their own feelings and the feelings of others and are therefore less likely to physically, psychologically and emotionally hurt each other through bullying and other cruelties," Ms Gordon said.

"Roots of Empathy was developed with the aim to build more peaceful and caring societies by increasing the level of empathy in children," she said.

Kaharoa School introduced Roots of Empathy in 2010 and Principal Warwick Moyle encourages more schools to become involved.

"The Roots of Empathy programme is fantastic for all primary school ages. Time and time again we have seen children emotionally develop and show more empathy as a result of running the programme in our school," he said.

"Mary Gordon is only visiting four cities as part of her New Zealand trip and we are honoured she is coming to Rotorua."

"I would recommend teachers and parents alike to come to her talk on Thursday 27 November to hear this inspirational educator," he said.

To find out more information or to RSVP contact Kaharoa School. Cost to attend is $20.

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