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Hector’s World helps Kiwi children deal with cyberbullying
Posted on 7-Sep-2009 11:34. | Tags Filed under: News.

Hector’s World helps Kiwi children deal with cyberbullying
New cyberbullying resources are being launched today for children, teachers and parents, and are free online at Kiwi website Hector's World. These are the latest animated resources with Hector and his friends, which helps children 2-9 years old stay safe online and learn about digital citizenship.

Hector’s World Ltd. is a New Zealand charity and a social entrepreneurship venture.

Pitched at children 4-9 years old, the interactive episode explores the impact that cyberbullying can have on someone and encourages targets of cyberbullying to talk to a trusted adult for help. In this episode, two friends deface a photograph of one of the main Hector’s World characters, Ming - a clam, and repeatedly forward the image to Ming and her circle of friends via mobile phone and the internet. The story encourages bystanders to see cyberbullying as unacceptable behaviour and to support the young person being targeted to get help.

The new resources are designed for primary school aged children and include:

• an interactive animated episode
• a music video
• a song
• colourful song sheets
• teacher lesson plans for three different age groups.

Liz Butterfield, Managing Director of Hector’s World Limited, says “It is very important that children in primary school understand what cyberbullying is, and that help is available for those who have been targeted. Messages to bystanders about how to support someone who has been victimised can assist in bringing this often hidden problem to light where it can be resolved in a caring way. Hector’s World is able to deliver these serious messages in an entertaining format that has lasting impact with young children.”

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) sponsored the new resources and launched them at a primary school in Sydney recently. Hector’s World is the ACMA’s flagship program for young children aged 2 to 10 years.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman says “Hector’s World is an internationally-recognised online safety education resource and we are delighted to partner with New Zealand charity Hector’s World Limited, to create a new episode and bring these inspirational and engaging characters to Australian children”.

Hector’s World resources exemplify Kiwi innovation in both the field of education and in digital media. The animation team is led by Mark Saunders, Creative Director of Inkspot Digital Ltd. The wonderful soloists on the song and music video are students at Papatoetoe High School. Ms Butterfield says, “We try to showcase New Zealand talent wherever possible, from the world-class animators to the actors who bring these characters to life.”

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