© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Kids from low decile schools thriving during educational 'Zoofari'

Orana article
Education Manager Toby Johnson teaching kids,.  Orana Wildlife Park

Orana Wildlife Park is playing host to an educational programme aimed at teaching young kids from low decile schools about wildlife conservation and how they can play a vital role.

The programme will now go nationwide after huge success in both Christchurch and Auckland.

Five thousand kids have gone through the Zoofari programme so far and Orana reports that they have received only positive feedback since then. 

Twelve Warehouse stores have raised over $130,000 in a bid to help the decile one - three schools learn about conservation and the part they have to play in it.

Orana Parks' education manager Toby Johnson said kids who don't work well in class thrive in the environment.

He said he doesn't know the history behind the kids he teaches.

"In class that student may be a nightmare - but out here in a different context, a different place and sometimes they'll give the most brilliant answers."

Orana Wildlife Park and the Warehouse teamed up to fundraise for 41 different schools.

Toby Johnson said it's been a pleasure working with the Warehouse as they don't have an agenda.

"Here the Warehouse is in it, literally, to make sure that these students have the best opportunities.


Orana top
School kids learning about wildlife conservation and Orana Wildlife Park Orana Wildlife Park

The Warehouse have been working on the Zoofari programme since 2015 - which originally started with Auckland Zoo.

Warehouse spokesperson Shari French said every kid deserves to experience the wonder of the zoo.

"[The programme] is designed to really inspire the children to look at the natural world with new eyes and to also realise the important part that they play in caring for it"

All 93 The Warehouse stores will be supporting the programme with an add-a-donation campaign in store from 7 to 27 March.

Shari French said it's important for everyone to donate if they can otherwise these kids will miss out on an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't have.