SPCA New Zealand

SPCA storybooks in te reo Māori: making animal welfare education more accessible to tamariki

15 May 2023

SPCA’s latest two series of storybooks for learners have been translated into te reo Māori and provided free to every Māori medium education setting across Aotearoa. Together with accompanying teaching resources in te reo Māori, the books are enabling even more tamariki to engage with these important animal welfare lessons.

SPCA storybooks in te reo Māori: making animal welfare education more accessible to tamariki

The focus of SPCA’s Education Programme is to nurture young hearts and minds around the country. Here at SPCA, we know that tamariki are the animal guardians of tomorrow, and working with them is a vital step in achieving our long-term vision of preventing animal cruelty in New Zealand.

Our learn-to-read storybooks are a crucial part of this process. Aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum, they can be easily incorporated into the classroom. Through them, teachers are able to use engaging, real-world animal stories to not only help young learners improve their reading skills, but to take on key lessons about care and responsibility when it comes to all animals.

Making our storybooks accessible for all

SPCA feels strongly about ensuring resources we create for tamariki and schools are as widely accessible as possible. That is why the English versions of all four series of these books have been provided free-of-charge to primary and intermediate schools nationwide, with the latest release of series four going out in mid-2022.

Since translating and distributing our first two series of storybooks in te reo Māori back in 2018, SPCA has been looking forward to being able to do the same with the latest two series.

Thanks to the generous donations from some of our supporters passionate about animal welfare education, we are thrilled to share that earlier this year, series three and four were translated into te reo Māori. In addition, supporting teaching resources were translated and recrafted for Māori medium settings. Throughout April, 21,960 copies of these te reo readers (there are six books in each series) were distributed free-of-charge to Māori medium settings around the country.

As anyone who has ever attempted translating something will know, translation is not a straightforward task. SPCA is incredibly grateful to Sunshine Books and Huia Publishers for guiding this nuanced and important work.

Experts in creating stories and publishing resources that are centred in te ao Māori and Māori worldviews, The guidance of Huia was paramount to the success of this mahi/work.

“It wasn’t just about translating the words,” SPCA Education Manager Nicole Peddie says, “but recrafting the associated lessons and resources to ensure they would connect with and meet the needs of tamariki in Māori medium educational settings.”

First-of-their-kind resources for kaiako/teachers

We’re thrilled to share that this release of the third and fourth series of storybooks in te reo is accompanied by supporting learning resources SPCA has been unable to offer before.

While English releases of our storybooks have had corresponding resources for teachers to guide tamariki through the lessons, this is the first time we have been able to offer supporting learning materials in te reo Māori.

“This is the first time we have been able to make these additional resources available in te reo Māori – it’s a really exciting next step for our programme,” Mrs Peddie says. “Before now, learners in English school settings have had the full package, whereas we weren’t able to offer the same in Māori medium settings... until now! We are so grateful to Huia for helping us make this possible.”

Resources were provided alongside the books, free-of-charge to 305 Māori medium educational settings in the country, and are also available for free download via SPCA’s Teachers’ Portal.

Breaking the cycle of animal cruelty, one book at a time

Breaking the cycle of animal cruelty, one book at a time

This latest release is an exciting step in working towards SPCA’s overarching vision that drives all our work: proactively preventing animal cruelty in New Zealand.

SPCA’s storybooks have been carefully developed to teach core animal care and welfare lessons. They use engaging, emotive, and thought-provoking stories to capture readers’ imaginations, whilst also supporting their literacy development.

While the books and resources have now landed in all Māori medium education settings in the country, it is important to SPCA to make these available for whoever may enjoy them. All te reo readers are now available to purchase online here.

SPCA encourages parents, whānau, friends and mentors to take advantage of these incredible resources and gift them to the young people in their life. As well as the money from purchases going towards helping animals in need in New Zealand, the gesture will help young tamariki learn key lessons about looking out for animals. Those interested in helping tamariki learn te reo Māori too are encouraged to purchase the same series in both languages to learn language through comparison.

SPCA educational readers in te reo Maori
SPCA educational readers in te reo Maori

SPCA would like to thank all our incredible supporters who help make this exciting education work possible. From Sunshine Books who publish and distribute the readers to schools nationwide, Huia who translated and adapted the supporting learning resources, and our special supporters who have provided funding specifically for our Education Programme which made this all possible. We are so honoured to be helping build a brighter future for animals together. Ngā mihi nui.

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