October 13, 2016 – The new school term in New Zealand has seen the the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of New Zealand (SPCA NZ) gifting over 76,000 books to all primary and immediate schools throughout the country to help teachers educate children about animal welfare.

Each school have been given two sets of six books the purpose for this is two- fold to help improve children’s reading skills, while teaching them about respecting and caring for animals.

Each story is based on a real-life animal rescue from the SPCA, and contains messages about animal care, animal welfare, and tips for families on how to be responsible pet owners. The six books in the series cater to different ages and reading levels.

“Research tells us that the best way to achieve behavioural change is by reaching out to children between seven and 12-years-old. By educating the next generation of animal owners, we can help ensure a better future for all animals,” said SPCA New Zealand Acting CEO Andrea Midgen.

“Our SPCA storybooks feature fun and engaging characters that kids will identify with and want to read about, all while earning important lessons about compassion and empathy towards people and animals,” said Andrea.

“Already the response from schools has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve had teachers and principals write to us and thank us for providing free resources that promote their key classroom values: being kind and compassionate, and caring for each other,” said Andrea.

The SPCA’s aim is for every child to grow up to respect animals and be a responsible pet owner. By doing so, the SPCA hopes to break the cycle of animal cruelty in New Zealand communities and reduce the number of abused and neglected animals that need the SPCA’s help each year. The initiative was supported by Sunshine Books and SPCA supporters.

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