Making kids Global Citizens with Thomas and Friends
"Thomas' unique focus on empathy, collaboration and friendship is more relevant than ever and such an effective way to introduce children to the most important goal values of their lifetime - as embodied by the Sustainable Development Goal, " said Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel.
What are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?They are goals adopted in 2015 by all the Member States that form the United Nation. There are 17 goals and the collaboration between the UN and Thomas & Friends cover FIVE of those goals on Season 22 with 26 new TV episodes and a movie. Most importantly the gender-balanced Steam Team -there are now 3 female and 3 male lead trains plus Thomas. Emily, Nia and Rebecca join Percy, James and Gordon in Tidmouth Sheds on the Isle of Sodor.
In the new seasons as well as the micro episodes online, (view them on allaboardforglobalgoals.com) Thomas and his friends will explore the Sustainable Development Goals #4 Quality Education, #5 Gender Equality, #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, #12 Responsible Consumption and Production, and #15 Life on Land. Parents can also find on the website some parent tips, activity sheets as well as PSA form Thomas to the kids. This is a full interactive, "educational" website for families. Thomas and The UN have made this partnership possible by bringing "big words and topics" down to preschool levels. Thomas is a worldwide known character, this reaches kids of all countries and ages, hoping kids absorb these facts through stories/TV.
How do kids become "global citizens"?They become thinkers to start, the youngest learn by watching and listening. Those watching the Thomas and Friends show which are covering the SDGs, will ask their parents questions from the show, I mean have you ever watched a show with your child, they ask a thousand questions. These questions about the goals will open conversation between children and adults. Role playing and acting as a role model for the future, involving kids in the dream of peace. They are finding new ways to explain big topics.
I am so happy about this collaboration as a "Thomas Parent". The educational value in this show has only increased, teaching both boy and girls important messages that will only continue to grow in importance and be a factor in their lives.