Roots of Empathy class teaches student compassion through interaction with baby

Along with academics, students across King County are studying a new subject — compassion.

The program is called Roots of Empathy. The goal is to improve relationships and reduce aggressive behavior with the help of a baby – a real baby.

During a Roots of Empathy class at Glacier Park Elementary School in Maple Valley, 3-month-old Ashlyn Dahl-Hansen is the teacher. Once she enters the room with her mother, the 4th grade students’ whole demeanor changes. They’re all-smiles and happy to see her again. Ashlyn will visit this class nine times throughout the school year. The kids can see her grow and develop plus ask lots of questions.

Teresa Yuan, KING 5 News