This is one of the more unusual programs I've ever seen. Aschool in Seattle is teaching kids empathy by bringing up baby into the classroom. it's an anti-bullying program. The theory is even being around the baby, whether or not it's your own or you even know, it stimulates the release of oxytocin. And oxytocin increases empathy, as many studies have now shown. So, if kids have more empathy, they'll be less likely to bully, the theory goes.
So, the idea is, these kids are exposed regularly to baby they release oxytocin feel kinder to each other and over time, this becomes a natural and automatic state of being.
Follow the links in this blog post to find out more about the program.
Maybe I'm a little over sensitive to the germ issue right now, thanks to everybody I know having been sick this winter, but I'm a little surprised they can find someone willing to bring a baby into their classroom.