The Kindergarten class of Sulpher Springs School is learning valuable life lessons thanks to teacher Erin Eberhart and a grant she received. Through the Pet Care Trust, Eberhart received a Pets in the Classroom grant, which helps her fund her classroom pet guinea pig, Gertie. And she has seen the positive changes in the classroom.
” I got a classroom pet because I thought it seemed like a great opportunity to promote responsibility in my classroom,” said Eberhart. “It has impacted my room greatly. Students know a certain noise level must be maintained for her little ears. They know if they want to hold her, they must be gentle…actions must be taken to care for her…and so on. It has stepped the level of responsibility up in my room and students have taken an interest in something other than themselves!”
These positive changes are just a few of the benefits that can come from having a classroom pet. The Pet Care Trust cites numerous other benefits including encouraging nurturing, building self-esteem, stimulating learning, and even increasing school attendance. These benefits are all reasons as to why they provide grants to pre-k through 8th grade teachers throughout the U.S. and Canada who may not otherwise have the funding to bring these learning tools into the classroom.
Having issued over 34,00 classroom grants (impacting some 1.7 million students) and having a goal of impacting 100,000 classrooms, the Pet Care Trust will continue to help teachers like Eberhart enhance their classrooms through the love of pets. And the teachers and students will continue to reap the benefits.
“My experience with a classroom pet has been a positive one.” said Eberhart. “Gertie was all my students could talk about for weeks! They had so many questions and constantly wanted to hold her and love on her. She is like a school celebrity! Everyone knows her and asks about her and she seems to bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
If you have had a positive experience with a classroom pet, we would love to hear about it! Please send us a message on Facebook or post a picture on our wall! And if you are not a teacher but are inspired by the work of teachers like Miss Eberhart who are impacting the lives of their students through classroom pets, please consider donating to the cause!