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Learning empathy

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Amanda Dent held her daughter, Madelyn, as students in John Cousineau’s Grade 1 class at St. Michael’s School said “goodbye” at the end of another session of the “Roots of Empathy” program Monday morning. Designed to promote emotional literacy and prevent bullying, the program sees Madelyn visit the classroom every few weeks and act as a “teacher” to the students, who get to observe her development as well as talk about her feelings (and, in turn, their own feelings). The program—which also runs in other schools throughout the district—is organized for St. Michael’s by Rochelle Bird, the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness youth co-ordinator with the United Native Friendship Centre here.

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