In our constant endeavour to spread knowledge about amicable co-existence, we at RESQ are always pursuing every opportunity we can. The Green Turtle Preschool, Daycare and Activities Center in Baner recently provided us with a wonderful opportunity to educate their students about how animals and humans can coexist happily together.
Jessica, our Outreach Manager, educated these extremely receptive children in two batches based on their understanding levels. For a practical explanation, we had Garfield the cat accompanying Jessica. Garfield just so happens to be the happiest and cuddliest little 6-year old cat we have rescued! Two groups based on ages were formed to direct the best manner of communication: the first group comprised of one to three-year-olds, while the second one was of three to five-year-olds!
What the One to Three-year-olds Learnt:
Garfield and his adventures!
Given their cognitive development, this batch of students learnt more about sound and physical similarities with demonstrative examples. What better way to make them understand that just like us humans, animals too have eyes, ears, and a mouth along with other body parts. The kids had a wonderful time playing an interactive body game along with Garfield to recognise these similarities. Sounds of animals and the placement of our body parts were questioned to engage the kids further into the vital understanding of animals.
What the Three to Five-year-olds Learnt:
An interactive session in progress
Having a slightly more developed mental capacity to understand factors like possession, needs, and the wrong touch, this group was introduced to the subject of sensitization. The need for physical rest and shelter were made to understand by addressing the physical similarities between humans and animals. Just like us, animals too need shelter and a proper resting space like a bed in their own habitat. Speaking of habitat, the perils of bringing an animal outside its habitat were highlighted.
Zoos and circuses, two of the most common platforms where children are introduced to animals were used as examples of incompatible habitats. This proved to be a great way to teach such tender minds about the importance of living in your own habitat with your own families and amidst your own species, as well as how unfair and harmful could the consequence of living outside one’s natural environment be.
This group was also educated about ‘touch’. One of the biggest barriers in human-animal conflict is the factor of -- touch! Questions like “would you like being touched on your butt by a stranger?”, were asked.
Children have been taught in school as well as at home about the right and wrong touch. Their understanding of this gave us further grounds to explain the same case with animals. A touch on the back is fine, but a touch on the butt, for example, is an absolute no-no for animals too! This was illustrated well on Garfield, and Garfield’s clear disapproval was a good indication of the wrong touch.
Children being amazed by Garfield's goofs!
Taking all this information into consideration, the children will be performing a play about the ‘Free Living of Animals’ for their Annual Day to be held on the 23rd of February. Informative standees too will be placed across the school campus for visitors to see and engage with. But that’s not all: the school’s management has been kind enough to put up a RESQ donation box as well to enable parents, students and staff alike to contribute towards the care of rescued animals!
Given the level of curiosity, this visit was a great way to help us spread awareness. What could be a better audience than these children, who are our future?! All in all, a delightful occasion of teaching, learning, and of course: kids being thrilled by Garfield! A heartfelt thank you to The Green Turtle Preschool, Daycare and Activities Center for giving us this gratifying opportunity!