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Kids enter SAFE zone to stop animal cruelty

4 October 2004

Kiwi kids enter virtual SAFE zone to stop animal cruelty

New Zealand students will enter a virtual SAFE zone to help launch "Share the World", an internationally acclaimed animal education programme, via videoconference.

The programme, which contains videos, activity books and posters, promotes compassion and respect towards animals and is being launched by animal advocacy group, SAFE, as part of World Animal Week from 4 to 10 October.

Seventeen schools from around the country, some from small centres such as Kaikohe and Cromwell, will connect to the event using Telecom¹s SchoolZone videoconferencing service.

SAFE Education Officer Nichola Kriek said that participating students will be able to share their passion for animals, while developing empathy and caring attitudes towards all living beings.

"New Zealand has one of the highest statistics in the world for domestic and child violence. Share the World will help address these concerns by educating young children to be more respectful towards others," Ms Kriek said.

This will be the first time an animal education programme is launched via videoconference in New Zealand.

"Videoconferencing technology allows more schools to get involved in the event."

"Using SchoolZone, we¹re able to create a fun and collaborative learning environment, reaching students all over New Zealand.," Ms Kriek said.

Launched in July 2003, Telecom¹s SchoolZone is an award-winning IT network service now adopted by 258 schools around the country, and used by more than 100,000 students nationwide. Former principal and Telecom¹s SchoolZone specialist Vivienne Hall said SchoolZone is helping take learning beyond the barriers of location, size, or teaching resource.

"The launch of "Share the World" demonstrates how students can participate in a project without leaving their classroom," Ms Hall said.

New Zealand joins Australia, Puerto Rico, Greece, the Netherlands, India, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, where "Share the World" is already available in schools.

SAFE will distribute more than 2500 Share the World resource packs containing videos, activity books and posters to every primary school in New Zealand following the event.

SAFE, with the support of the Correspondence School's eLearning Department, Telecom, and Christchurch City Council's South Learning Centre hosted the event.

ENDS

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