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UN enlists ’Thomas & Friends’ to teach kids about UN goals

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations is enlisting the animated series “Thomas & Friends” to teach preschool children the importance of taking part in global efforts to end poverty, provide girls and boys with the same opportunities, and protect the planet.

The U.N. and series owner Mattel Inc. announced a collaboration Friday that will see elements of five of the 17 U.N. goals for 2030 incorporated into nine of the 26 episodes of the new season of “Thomas & Friends.”

U.N. Outreach Division director Maher Nasser says that “Thomas & Friends was a natural fit for younger audiences as well as their parents and caretakers.”

Mattel President Richard Dickson says the U.N. exists to create a better world “and that’s been the core lesson of Thomas for over 70 years.”