New book helps children learn the power of kindness

Issue: Volume 97, Number 8

Posted: 14 May 2018
Reference #: 1H9iif

An interactive online storybook that aims to teach children about empathy, acceptance and tolerance is being launched as part of Bullying-Free New Zealand Week, 14-18 May.

Designed to help 4-7-year-olds learn about the power of kindness, Oat the Goat an engaging bullying prevention resource is about to be launched to encourage children to make the right decision through a positive interactive experience with their parents, whānau, family, teacher or peers.

The theme of this year’s Bullying-Free New Zealand Week is ‘Let’s talk about it’, and this new digital storybook provides a way for adults to have a conversation with younger children about what they can do when they come across bullying.

The exciting story follows Oat the Goat (Oti te Nanekoti) as he embarks upon the adventure of his life through native, animated New Zealand landscapes. Along the way, he meets some surprising new friends: a curious creature called Amos, a little green glow worm that lights up with love, and a group of woolly bullies.

The music, featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra alongside traditional Māori instruments taonga pūoro and eye-catching animation, brings the story to life and is appealing to young children.

Available to read in both te reo Māori and English, Oat the Goat helps you talk to your students about the choices they have when they see someone being bullied. Should they laugh? Ignore them? Or include and be kind to them? You don’t need to use the word ‘bullying’ to begin to teach young children prosocial skills that will prevent bullying behaviour. The focus in Oat the Goat is on learning how to get on with each other.

This free resource will be available for you to use as you wish – story time in te reo Māori, story time in English, after school programmes, kids’ book clubs, or any other initiative that your ECE or school offers.

Every ECE, kōhanga reo, primary school and kura will be sent an Oat the Goat pack during Bullying-Free New Zealand Week, 14-18 May, so please email  if you don’t receive yours.

Enclosed in the pack will be Oat the Goat posters, discussion prompts for a classroom learning experience, and a sticker for each child. Feel free to place the posters where young children and their families will see them, and encourage the children to wear their stickers home so their parents and whānau hear about it and read Oat the Goat to them.

Also, share the storybook website links with your ECE or school community using your regular communication channels. Post the links on Storypark and your social media channels, such as Facebook, to help spread the word. The book includes information for parents to help teach their children how to get on with people and talk about their feelings.

Oat the Goat will be available for everyone to experience and enjoy, so encourage your community to read Oti te Nanekoti and help spread Oat’s important message that “kindness wins in the end”.

Experience the book in te reo Māori(external link) and in English(external link) from 14 May.

Some of the characters in Oat the Goat include a group of ‘woolly bullies’, a creature called Amos, and of course, Oat the Goat himself.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 am, 14 May 2018

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