Pets in the Classroom Program Provides 50,000 Classrooms with Educational Grants

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Teacher grant program reaches halfway point of goal of introducing 5 million students to classroom pets.

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I've watched many kids that I have rarely seen smile put a huge uncontrollable smile on as they interact with the different pets in class!

The Pet Care Trust is pleased to announce that it has provided over 50,000 teachers with classroom pets and the benefits they provide through its Pets in the Classroom grant program, impacting the lives of approximately 2.5 million students. With a goal of introducing 5 million children in 100,000 classrooms* to pets and the benefits they provide, the Pet Care Trust has surpassed the half-way point of its goal and is continuing to help teachers impact future generations through its grant program.

The Pets in the Classroom grant program was established by the Pet Care Trust with the knowledge that, while they are a valuable teaching tool, many teachers have very limited resources for the support of classroom animals. Through this educational grants program, teachers can obtain a grant for the purchase of new pets, pet environments, or pet food, and supplies for existing classroom pets through a direct, no-hassle grant application on the Pets in the Classroom website (http://www.petsintheclassroom.org).

Classroom pets benefits students by teaching them responsible, long-term pet care at an early age and providing the psychological and developmental benefits associated with the human-animal bond. Studies have shown that caring for pets has a positive effect on children, improving school attendance and teaching children responsibility, as well as encouraging nurturing and building self-esteem. And numerous Pets in the Classroom grant recipients have confirmed that having a classroom pet has a big impact on their students:

"A phenomenal opportunity to bring a pet into our 7th grade science classroom. There were many opportunities throughout the year to reinforce responsible pet ownership along with the understanding of maintaining a license to own our corn snake. The students watched him grow and [he]became a companion to many students. It was inspiring to watch the students, at first apprehensive, become much more understanding of the gentleness of a snake. It is absolutely beautiful."

Josh Langenberger
Howell Memorial Middle School, Howell, NJ

"There has been great improvement in my classroom due to the pets in the classroom experience... For example, it has helped children who suffer with separation anxiety to transition more smoothly in the morning. I wait for certain children that I know love the pet to come in and allow them to perform certain care routines like feeding, watering, etc. It's amazing how tears dry up almost immediately when I mention the job that needs to be done. Some children are just happy with watching the animal eat or walk around in their habitat, which offers them a distraction from being sad that their parent has left them."

Barbara Stephens, teacher
Acelero Learning Head Start, Las Vegas, NV

"Thank you for the grant! I've watched many kids that I have rarely seen smile put a huge uncontrollable smile on as they interact with the different pets in class! I'm so glad I was made aware of this! Changed my classroom environment completely!"

Lauren Navarrete
Arnold Middle School, Cypress, TX

To learn more about the Pets in the Classroom grant program or to read about other teachers' classroom pet experiences, visit http://www.PetsintheClassroom.org.

*The program funds classroom pets in grades pre-K through 8th. Since many Middle School classrooms have multiple classes cycle through them each day, an average of 50 students come in contact with each classroom pet.

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Steven T. King, CAE
Pets in the Classroom
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