The Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom grant program will begin accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year beginning August 3rd.  Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers in both private and public schools who desire to introduce a pet into the classroom or already have a pet in the classroom are welcome to apply.

According to several different studies as well as numerous teachers’ experiences, classroom pets provide a variety of benefits to students as they:  aid in improving school attendance, encourage nurturing, build self esteem, promote empathy, teach responsibility, stimulate learning, enrich the classroom experience, and become friends. And with over 56,600 grants having been issued since the program’s inception, nearly 2 million children have already experienced these benefits thanks to the Pets in the Classroom grant program.

The 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 the grant program, teachers have the option to obtain a pet through one of the program’s participating stores – Petco, Petsmart, Pet Supermarket, Pet Supplies Plus, Petland, and Petland Discounts – or to purchase their pet through a local pet store through a rebate grant.  Past grant recipients are not eligible to receive funding for a new classroom pet, but are welcoming to apply for the sustaining grant, which provides up to $50 to maintain an existing classroom pet. With 8 different types of grants, each teacher has the opportunity to choose which grant is right for him or her through a direct, no-hassle grant application on the Pets in the Classroom website (www.PetsintheClassroom.org).

With a goal of introducing 5 million children in 100,000 classrooms to pets and the benefits they provide, the Pet Care Trust hopes to help teachers impact future generations through its grant program.

For more information, visit www.PetsintheClassroom.org.

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