A beautiful New Zealand-made interactive animation for children is being praised online for the way it fosters attitudes of kindness and promotes anti-bullying.
Oat the Goat is the tale of Oat's journey to the top of a mountain and the friends Oat makes along the way.
This unique story, launched online last month during Bullying-Free Week, aims to teach children aged 4 to 7 the importance of being kind to one another (although yours truly, at 33, quite enjoyed watching it too, so I'll go ahead and revise it's recommended age to "all ages").
Oat's story can be played in either English or te reo Māori (as "Oti te Nanekoti") and you can either read it yourself or have it narrated to you.
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The interactive story is an initiative of the Ministry of Education to reduce bullying in schools. It is based on the premise that bullying is a learned behaviour and that the right education about it can tackle the problem.
"All students are entitled to feel safe and secure at school. Parents and whānau are children's first teachers. Together with early childhood educators and schools, we can all help children to develop positive relationships and social skills. Reading Oat the Goat is a great way for parents and teachers to talk about bullying with younger children who are still learning how to get on with each other," Secretary for Education and Chair of Bullying Prevention Advisory Group (BPAG), Iona Holsted said in a media release.
"Bullying goes to the heart of children's wellbeing and can affect the entire family as well. We want our children to feel happy and safe at home and school. Children have told us they want to be carefully listened to when they talk about bullying and responded to appropriately," Judge Andrew Becroft, Children's Commissioner and BPAG member said.
"It is not an easy thing for children to talk about, but all of us must be prepared to listen to their experiences, take them seriously and be ready to help in whatever way we can. Together, we can build bullying-free schools and communities."
Oat the Goat was created by creative agency FCB in conjuction with Auckland-based production company Assembly. The beautiful soundtrack was composed by Tane Upjohn-Beatson and performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Social media users all over the world have been praising both the design and the meaningful message of Oat the Goat.
Click here to watch the story of "Oat the Goat".