In-school deer education program begins

Talking to Kimberley’s school children about safety and deer

While Kimberley City Council decided not to commit any further funds to deer management this year, they have set aside some funds for education.

Education is one of the key parts of the City’s deer management strategy as set out by the Urban Deer Committee.

The target group for the current education program is pre-school through Grade 3.

Patty Kolesnichenko was delivering the City’s message on deer to elementary school children last week and continues this week.

“I’ve been to Marysville and Lindsay Park and will be going back to Lindsay Park and the Kimberley Independent School this week,” she said. “We are covering kindergarten to Grade 3 and KIS has a preschool group I’ll talk to as well.”

Kolesnichenko says that the K to 3 age students are the target group.

Many of them walk to school with an older sibling and could then pass the education on, filtering it through the whole family.

“It’s a fun, interactive program. We talk about what they already know about deer and what they wonder about. The kids know a lot already, so we try to reinforce that.”

She says the message is Be Aware, Stay Away, Don’t Touch, Keep Safe and Please Don’t Feed. The kids repeat these points and Kolesnichenko talks to them about what they mean.

“We talk about being mindful of does and fawns. What does a doe look like when it’s angry? Keep a good distance away all the time, but most importantly right now when they are fawning. We talk about having a different road to go down if there is a deer on your usual route and letting your dog go if it is on a leash and you see a deer, because a deer will come after the dog.

“With the older kids we do skits. We keep the program fun and interactive. It’s a safety program. It’s reinforcement. Hear it, say it, do an activity to demonstrate it.”


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