Roland students will get to learn about babies up close as they join the 'Roots of Empathy' program in their grade 3 and 4 classrooms.

Principal Brandy Chevalier describes it as "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.

Trish Reid and Stephanie McIntosh will be bringing in four and a half month old Lincoln Pritchard so students can watch him grow.

"Lincoln and his mom will visit the classroom nine times over the school year. Students will observe his development and feelings," says Chevalier.

"It's supposed to foster empathy . . . To give them an understanding of what it's like to be somebody that relies on everybody else, and so it's kind of a cool opportunity to have in our building."

Other goals of the program are to reduce levels of bullying, increase knowledge of human development, learning, and infant safety, and instill compassion as a future adult in society.

Roots of Empathy was launched in the province in 2001 and in the past years has seen roughly 95,000 students participate.