4 February 2015
The Fire Service is expanding its range of educational material with the release of a te reo Maori teaching resource for preschoolers.
E Puta! E Noho ki Waho! explains to children aged between two and five what to do in the event of a fire at home.
The launch of the booklet, DVD and teacher’s guide, at the Te Teko Kōhanga Reo on 4 February, is the culmination of several months’ work by the Fire Service and its partners, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, the Ministry of Education and publisher Lift Education.
National Māori Advisor Piki Thomas said the teaching material would go to 460 kōhanga reo, plus early-childhood centres teaching te reo, over the next three months. The Fire Service's Māori liaison team would distribute the material via “purapura”, or cluster structures.
The DVD, filmed at Te Teko Kōhanga Reo, uses songs and action to reinforce safety messages in E Puta! E Noho ki Waho!
Mr Thomas said targeting youngsters was a way to change people’s behaviour and attitudes towards fire safety at an early stage in life.
“We know that young minds are pliable minds. If we can encourage the next generation to adopt good fire safety behaviour – such as installing and checking smoke alarms, and working out and practising escape plans – then we can make the home a safer place for everyone.”
He said Fire Service statistics showed that in nearly every fatal house fire last year there was no working smoke alarm.
E Puta! E Noho ki Waho! tells the story of a group of children at a kōhanga reo who practise their safety drills, focusing on one in particular, Tamati, and his dog Sam.
The story emphasises the importance of warning others to leave, of never delaying an escape to get toys or shoes, of following an exit plan to an agreed meeting place – and of staying out once out.
The booklet also contains material for adults to consider, as well as a checklist to run through.
For further information go to: http://getfirewise.org.nz/
Piki Thomas 027 244 8784