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More About Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy was first offered in 1996 as a pilot program in the Toronto Board of Education. In 2000, Roots of Empathy began to spread across the country and by the 2005-06 school year, it was running in nine provinces.

In the 2009-10 school year in Canada:

  • Over 46,575 children participated in the program in 1,867 classrooms and 1,223 schools in nine provinces across Canada.
  • There were 1,215 Instructors delivering the program. These Instructors were supported by 139 Key Point People (local program coordinators), 80 Mentors, 17 Trainers, five Senior Mentors and seven Provincial Managers.
  • The program is offered in English, French and French Immersion classrooms. A total of 106 French-language programs ran across Canada; 65 programs ran in French school boards and 41 in French immersion classrooms.
  • Roots of Empathy was delivered to more than 3,185 Aboriginal children across Canada, including 80 programs on-reserve.

Since 1996, Roots of Empathy has reached approximately 316,050 students in Canada.


Alberta Statistics


Roots of Empathy was first introduced into Alberta in October 2002 in 76 classrooms: 27 in Calgary and 49 in South Western Alberta.

In the 2008-09 school year in Alberta:

  • 9,300 children in 372 classrooms in 210 schools participated in the program across the province.
  • 260 Alberta Instructors were delivering the program. These Instructors were supported provincially by 24 Mentors, one Senior Mentor, 37 Key Point People (local program coordinators), four Trainers and the Provincial Office team.
  • Communities in Alberta have provided much deeper financial and in-kind support this year in order to further sustain Roots of Empathy in their own local regions.
  • In the third year of offering Roots of Empathy in the northwest quadrant of Alberta, there was a 20% increase in the number of new programs and a large expansion geographically. A significant level of partnerships in the communities has been the impetus for expansion. The region has been renamed to Roots of Empathy- North West Alberta to reflect this regional growth.
  • Roots of Empathy was delivered in urban, rural and remote communities including schools with high immigrant populations, schools with high aboriginal populations and schools on-reserve.
  • Alberta Roots of Empathy delivered a total of 30 French language programs across the province; these included 23 programs in French immersion classrooms and seven programs in French school boards.

Since 2002, Roots of Empathy has reached 42,775 students in Alberta


Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Statistics and Results


In 2009 - 2010 in Wood Buffalo, the program has reached approximately 700 children in 25 classrooms and, since the program began in Wood Buffalo in 2003/2004, more than 5,000 students from Wood Buffalo have participated.

Research has shown that children who have Roots of Empathy know more about emotions and feelings, are kinder to their friends, are less aggressive and bully other children less compared to those who do not participate in the program.

Learn more about:

If you and your baby are interested in this unique volunteer experience for your family please contact:

Norma Shaw
Key Point Person
Roots of Empathy
Phone - (780) 743-7917
Fax - (780) 743-7937

General Inquiries : (780) 743 -7940  

Roots of Empathy

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