Changing the world, child by child

by Roots of Empathy


Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program which has shown dramatic effect in reducing aggression and violence among elementary school children while raising social/emotional literacy.

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Roots of Empathy's goal is to build social and emotional literacy, decrease levels of violence and aggression and break intergenerational cycles of abuse and neglect among school children. ROE is expanding internationally with programs across Canada, in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. "Emotions are the first language of the child and the universal language" - Mary Gordon, President/Founder, Roots of Empathy


“ROE gave our students an opportunity to interact with a loving, caring, supportive family over the course of the school year… this spark, this light that is empathy is an ember that continues to burn within their hearts. ~ ROE classroom teacher

Long-Term Impact

ROE builds empathy in school children with a view to decreasing violence and aggression and breaking intergernational cycles of abuse and neglect. It has reached 213,725 Canadian schoolchildren since 1996 and continues to expand annually.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


Roots of Empathy
What is Roots of Empathy?
ROE's newsletter, Green Blanket
Wall Street Journal Article about ROE

Organization Information

Roots of Empathy

Location: Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Website: http:/​/​
Stefanie Di Risio
Project Leader:
Stefanie Di Risio
Manager of Communications & Marketing
Toronto, Ontario Canada

Funded Project!

Thanks to 32 donors like you, a total of $5,000 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Wonderful!

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