The Pets in the Classroom grant program has launched its annual Habitat Contest, inviting pre-kindergarten through 9th-grade teachers to submit photos of their classroom pets’ habitats. All submissions will be featured on the Pets in the Classroom website, and visitors will be able to vote for their favorite habitats through the contest deadline of 4:00 p.m. on December 10, 2018. After the deadline, two winners will be chosen—one winner will be the entrant who received the most votes, and the other will be selected as “best in show” by a Pets in the Classroom committee. Each winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card. The Habitat Contest is an excellent opportunity for Pets in the Classroom grant recipients to share with other teachers the unique ways in which they are enriching the lives of their classroom pets and making the experience of caring for a pet more exciting for students.

Could your classroom pet’s habitat be a winner? In previous contests, voters have favored habitats that are interactive, personal, and creatively designed. If your pet loves its home, chances are that voters will too! We also encourage teachers to provide captions with their photos that offer some information about their pets and habitats. For example, we would love to know if students were involved in building the habitat, whether the design has an educational purpose, how the pet likes the habitat, and any other unique details about your classroom critter and its home. After submission, all contest participants are encouraged to share the links to their photos on their social media accounts, personal blogs, or via email, using the hashtag “#HabitatContest.” Sharing is a great way to garner votes for your photo and spread awareness of the benefits of classroom pets!

In submitting an entry to the Habitat Contest, please ensure that students’ faces are NOT identifiable in photos. For more information on the contest and its rules, or to make a submission, visit the official contest page: https://petsintheclassroom2018.wishpondpages.com/habitat-contest/.

Pets in the Classroom is an educational grant program that provides financial support to pre-kindergarten through 9th-grade teachers for the purchase and care of small classroom pets. Established in 2011 by the Pet Care Trust, the program’s mission is to provide school-aged children throughout the U.S. and Canada with the opportunity to interact with pets. Studies have linked classroom pets to a wide variety of educational, emotional, and developmental benefits for students, including improved school attendance, higher self-esteem, stronger empathy and nurturing instincts, and a heightened sense of responsibility. Pets in the Classroom has issued over 100,000 grants since the program’s inception, allowing millions of children to experience the joy and benefits of interacting with a pet. To learn more about Pets in the Classroom and how to qualify for a grant, please visit https://www.petsintheclassroom.org/grant-app/.

 

 

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