Pets in the Classroom – West Shore is Going to the Birds
West Shore is Going to the Birds
By Ms. Dascola, Mrs. Dermer and Ms. Sturges
Respect, Responsibility, and Caring…three things that every West Shore Wildcat knows very well! Two fifth grade teachers, Mrs. Laura Dermer and Ms. Elizabeth Sturges, and one second grade teacher, Ms. Amy Dascola, have recently incorporated these three character traits into their daily science instruction. Being a Positive Behavior (PBS) school, these three are traits that are important to all of us here at West Shore. These three teachers are using science and the care of animals to help instill these in their students.
It all started with the writing of a grant. Each teacher submitted a grant through Pet Care Trust to help with the care and cost of having a classroom pet. They worked as a team to get the grants written and now all three classrooms have an extra $100 to help care for the rescued cockatiels. The students are now assisting with the upkeep of having a class pet and Blanca Nieve, Lola, Shiloh, and Flower have become temporary classmates for the students. Through a partnership with Florida Parrot Rescue, a not-for-profit avian rescue dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of companion birds, the students are learning to be responsible by helping clean the animals’ cages, they are demonstrating care by giving the birds food each day and keeping their water dishes full, and showing respect by not teasing or mishandling the birds. It is a positive situation for all involved. The teachers know they are helping their students become better people, the students are receiving hands on experiences as part of life science, and the birds are enjoying a happy time in their lives before they find their permanent homes.
The last step in this process will also include the students showing respect, responsibility, and caring for the birds. Our students are foster “parents” for the birds and hope that homes can be found for their feathered friends once the school year comes to a close in June. Once a home is found, they will have to be responsible and respectful enough to be willing to let the birds go and care enough for the birds to know that a permanent home with a loving family is what is best for Blanca, Shiloh, Lola and Flower. The family or individual that adopts these little birdies will be wonderfully rewarded. They will be receiving a new family member that has been lovingly cared for and tended to for many weeks. For more information on becoming a forever home to a feathered friend go to www.FloridaParrotRescue.com.