With the first snows of the season on the ground in Albert County, it surely won't be long until the curling shoes are shined, brooms are at the ready, and the ice is painted and primed to go at the Fundy Curling Club. (Photo by Kevin Snair of Creative Imagery.)
Songs and rhymes for young children have been passed down for generations. Such nursery rhymes and songs are a fun way to teach children to talk and to get ready to read. Sharing rhymes and finger plays also provide a nurturing experience between caregiver and child. But did you know that a nationally recognized program on teaching songs, rhymes and storytelling to families is one of the many programs offered to parents through Talk With Me- Anglophone East?
The Fundy Curling Club is gearing up for its 55th exciting season. The club would like to, first of all, thank all those who have supported Chase The Ace as we raise funds for upgrades to our refrigeration system. Chase The Ace continues every Friday night and as each week goes by, we get closer to reaching our goal.
Chipoudy Communities Revitalization Committee (CCRC) is pleased to have a relationship with East Coast Kids in Riverside Consolidated School. Working together, we were able to provide a Licensed Daycare Centre in our rural community for children to play, laugh and learn.
The Riverside-Albert GED first opened in November of 2009. Over the last eight years, there have been 36 graduates. “GED” stands for General Education Development, which is equivalent to a Grade 12 Education.
“My favourite moment in Roots of Empathy was when you smiled at me.”
“My favourite moment was when you held my finger.”
“Dear Baby Andie, my wish for you when you are in Grade 3, is that you will have a Roots of Empathy baby just like you.”
As the fifth Roots of Empathy program at Riverside Consolidated School wrapped up, students reflected on what they had experienced since October with baby Andie Ada Sanford, daughter of Alicia (O’Hara) and Jon Sanford. Baby Andie was just six weeks old when she made her first visit to the school. As the children greeted her with the special Hello Song, she seemed unperturbed by it all. As they touched the butterfly sock she wore, they hoped for eye contact with the special visitor, but to no avail. A tiny newborn, she was able to lie on the special Green Blanket, and make sounds. The list the students had created, of what they thought she might be able to do, contained mostly “not yet” comments rather than a “yes” – sitting up – not yet, walking – not yet.
But by June – what a change in our baby – sitting up, crawling, making eye contact, holding fingers, interacting with vocalizations, smiling, laughing, eating a wide variety of foods! The students and even Mom Alicia were amazed as they watched the slide show of photos from October to May. How much change occurs in a human during the first year of life!
Roots of Empathy was developed by Newfoundland educator, Mary Gordon. It has spread internationally, and is widely acclaimed.
“Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.”
Roots of Empathy’s goals are:
· To foster the development of empathy
· To develop emotional literacy
· To reduce levels of bullying, aggression and violence, and promote children's pro-social behaviours
· To increase knowledge of human development, learning, and infant safety
· To prepare students for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting
Anglo East School District began Roots of Empathy in seven Grade 3 classrooms in the 2008-2009 school year. A facilitator must be trained by the national organization, and each program is supplied with curriculum materials, a special library and “props” – baby toys, a green blanket, a roll, and special T-shirts for babies that say “Roots of Empathy Teacher.”
Riverside Consolidated School has participated since the beginning, with a break from 2011-13. Five sweet baby girls have served as the Roots of Empathy “teacher” – showing the students how much babies learn in their first year. The facilitator is Barb Gebuhr, and the classroom teacher is Scott Tingley, providing continuity for the program.
The students soon adopt this baby as their own, and would never imagine harming her in any way; they empathize with her feelings, and transfer that empathy to their peer group, when reminded. They learn about normal infant development, and what is essential both prenatally, and during the first year, to ensure healthy and happy babies. A key message is “Never Shake a Baby” and students brainstorm ways that tired parents can deal with the frustration of a crying baby, rather than resort to shaking, which can cause brain damage, and even death. Students are very serious in absorbing these essential learnings, and plan to be great parents when the time comes!
For more information on the program, visit www.rootsofempathy.org
Submitted by Barb Gebuhr, Facilitator of Roots of Empathy program at Riverside Consolidated School.
Connecting Albert County would like to thank the following supporters & advertisers:
- Bennett and Albert County Health Care (BACH) Foundation
- Albert County Pharmacy
- Hon. Rob Moore, MP for Fundy Royal
- CBDC Westmorland Albert
- Albert County Funeral Home
- Friends of Fundy
- Crooked Creek Convenience
- Hon. Mike Holland, Minister, MLA-Albert
- Fundy Highlands Motel and Chalets
- Chipoudy Communities Revitalization Committee (CCRC)
- Jeff MacDougall, SouthEastern Mutual Insurance
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