October 14, 2014 Photos by: XiXinXing/Bigstock.com
Non-profit organization Pets in the Classroom offers grants to help teach students about pets
Growing up, my family always had pets as a way to help teach us responsibility. My sister and I were in charge of feeding and maintaining them. We bonded so quickly with all of our animals it became a lesson that never left us. I became such an avid pet lover I made a career out of it and my little sister is one of the youngest crazy cat ladies. But not every family can support having pets for their children. That’s where Pets in the Classroom comes in.
Pets in the Classroom is a grant program designed to help teachers procure and care for small animals in in their classrooms. There are seven different grants available that range from paying for the initial purchase of the pet, to feeding and keeping up its habitat. The program is a part of The Pet Care Trust, a non-profit organization formed in 1990, devoted to promoting public understanding of the joys and benefits of pets through education, support and interaction. The application process is online and easily accessible for teachers or people wishing to donate.
The benefits of having small animals or fish in the classroom are endless. They can make learning more interesting for the children and can help increase attendance. Pets teach the children responsibility and make them feel important which helps them in everyday life. Bonding with animals makes people more compassionate and instills nurturing in the children at a young age. And of course, the pets become friends!
According to the Pets in the Classroom, studies show that 40 percent of children will turn to a pet when they’re feeling down. And that 53 percent of children surveyed prefer doing homework near their pets. I agree with this one wholeheartedly – my dog is snuggled up next to me on the couch while I write this article. Pets in the Classroom is a wonderful program, and their goal to impact 5 million kids is amazing. I have decided myself that I’m going to sponsor a classroom, because every child should know the love of animals.
For more information, visit the Pets in the Classroom website.
Rachel Leavy lives in Rochester, New York with her dog, Maria, and her gecko, Nigel. She has loved animals all her life, and has owned her own dog training and walking company for five years. When she’s not playing with puppies, she can usually be found writing short stories, riding horses or out at a play.