Pets in the Classroom Program Exceeds First Year Expectations
Pets in the Classroom, an educational grants program supporting responsible pet care for school classrooms, saw surprising growth in 2010. The program awarded 2,060 grants to teachers in 2010, its first full year of operation. With an average of 30 students per classroom, the program has brought pets into the lives of almost 62,000 children. Some of these children may have no other contact with a pet except in their classroom. In many cases, it could be the beginning of a lifelong interest in pets and pet care.
Sponsored by the Pet Care Trust, the goal of the Pets in the Classroom program is to establish healthy child-pet relationships at an early age by supporting responsible pet care in Kindergarten-6th Grade classrooms across the U.S. and Canada. Many school teachers have very limited resources for the support of classroom animals. The Pet Care Trust sponsors this program to help teachers purchase or maintain pets in the classroom through direct, no-hassle grants. The program leaves it up to the teacher to select the pet that is most appropriate for her/his classroom. There have been a wide variety of funding requests, from snakes and lizards to guinea pigs and rabbits, proving that many different species provide interesting classroom companions.
As of December, 2010, 2,066 certificates were granted totaling nearly $264,000. The program’s initial goal for the year of 700 grant requests was far exceeded. Pets in the Classroom has funded the following classroom pet requests:
Small Animals- 737
Sustaining- 40 (These grants help teachers who already have a classroom pet with food and supplies).
The program hopes to fund an additional 2,000 classroom grants in 2011. All funding for Pets in the Classroom has come from the Pet Care Trust endowment. As the program expands to reach more elementary school classrooms across the country, the program will rely on direct financial support from the pet industry. Pets in the Classroom welcomes support from corporate and individual donors through tax deductible contribution to the Pet Care Trust. Visit the Trust website today at petcaretrust.org.
Check out www.Petsintheclassroom.org. “Pets in the Classroom” is a grant program that gives teachers up to $150 for pets and pet supplies for the classroom. They also provide information on what pets are good options for the classroom.