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Zoofari to benefit children in Canterbury and West Coast

Orana Wildlife Park MEDIA RELEASE – For Immediate Release

The Warehouse supports Zoofari to benefit children in Canterbury and West Coast

In 2015, The Warehouse and Orana Wildlife Park formed a partnership to extend ‘The Warehouse Zoofari’, enabling low decile schools from Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru and Greymouth to take part in education programmes at the Christchurch zoo. Twelve of The Warehouse stores have raised over $130,000 enabling 5,000 students from 41 decile 1-3 schools to go on ‘Zoofari’ at Orana.

Due to the success of The Warehouse Zoofari, the programme is now a nationwide initiative. All 93 The Warehouse stores will be supporting the programme with an add-a-donation campaign in store from 7 to 27 March. By donating in store, The Warehouse customers can help facilitate educational visits for low decile schools in the region.

Orana Wildlife Park’s Education Manager, Toby Johnson, says “Zoos in each region are collaborating to host the school students and give them the learning opportunity that many would otherwise miss out on without The Warehouse. Orana Wildlife Park will expand the partnership to ensure that all South Island students can learn about our unique wildlife.”

Shari French, General Manager Community Relations at The Warehouse, says visiting the Zoo is a quintessential part of childhood for many Kiwi kids, but for some families facing hardship, it can be something a child never gets to experience.

“There’s so much a child can gain from an educational visit a Zoo beyond the enjoyment of seeing animals. They can learn about everything from caring for the environment, recycling and conservation, to the science of animals and nature.”

“It can be an experience that really helps open up the world to a child,” says Shari.

This year the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand have joined The Warehouse Zoofari with the ‘Roots & Shoots’ programme, which will be available to support students and teachers with classroom learning and community actions derived from their visit.

Toby Johnson says they are delighted to continue their partnership with The Warehouse.

“Zoofari is a fantastic initiative that enables schools, who could otherwise not visit, to take part in an education programme at the zoo. The visit is integrated with classroom learning; we customise every programme to the requirements of the school. The students who have visited have gained amazing learning experiences including meeting New Zealand’s only gorillas and the country’s only orang-utans.

Conservation education is a key focus for zoos and visitors are provided with specific take-home messages relating to how they can help conserve endangered species and the habitats in which they live. Orana seeks to develop environmental friendly habits in visitors particularly children being the future guardians of our biodiversity. The Warehouse Zoofari plays a significant role in helping us achieve this aim.”

Orana’s Zoo School is a Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom programme, endorsed by the Ministry of Education. Specialist teachers cater for students from New Entrants to Year 13.

- ENDS -

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