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Roots of Empathy FamilyRoots of Empathy is an evidence-based program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program reaches elementary school children from Kindergarten to Grade 8. The mission of Roots of Empathy is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults.

Since 1996, over 500,000 children worldwide have participated in this award-winning program. 

Baby as Teacher

At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant, the “Teacher,” and parent who visit the classroom. Over the school year, a trained Roots of Empathy Instructor guides the children as they observe the relationship between baby and parent. As they learn about the baby's temperament and emotions, they develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others. 

Roots of Empathy in Waterloo Region

YWCA Cambridge has been working with Roots of Empathy since 2006. To date, we have worked with thousands of students, and hundreds of teachers, families, and instructors. Currently, we operate almost 100 programs in the Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph communities.

For more information about this award winning program, please visit the Roots of Empathy website.

Seeds of Empathy

Seeds of Empathy grew out of Roots of Empathy. The program is designed for Early Childhood settings to foster social and emotional competence and early literacy skills and attitudes in children three to five years of age while providing professional development for their educators.

Ways to get involved

Are you interested in investing in the social and emotional literacy of children in Waterloo Region? Each spring, we recruit instructors and families for an October start date in the schools. Find out about our volunteer opportunities for families and instructors.

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YWCA Cambridge (Head Office)

55 Dickson Street
Cambridge, ON
N1R 7A5

Monday-Saturday: 9 AM - 4 PM
(519) 267-6444

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20 Dickson Street (Unit 101)
Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 1T4

(519) 622-9960

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About Us

As a member agency of YWCA Canada, YWCA Cambridge is part of a national movement known as the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization, the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and is the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.

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