Second grade teacher, Miss Brittney Jobak, recently ramped up the learning curve in her Warren, Michigan classroom with excitement and responsibility through a grant she received from Pet Care Trust and their program Pets in the Classroom.
The Pets in the Classroom grant program provides teachers like Miss Jobak with financial support to purchase and maintain classroom pets that they might not otherwise be able to afford for the purposes of teaching children to bond with and care for pets responsibly. And as many teachers can attest, the classroom can provide an excellent opportunity for students to experience the love and responsibility of a pet while also enhancing the learning process of an already stimulating setting.
For Miss Jobak’s class, this opportunity took the shape of a gecko named Leonardo.
“I originally heard about the Pets in the Classroom program through other teachers at my school, “ said Miss Jobak. “I saw them bringing pets into their classrooms, integrating them into their daily lessons, and incorporating them into their character education as well. This got me excited about the possibilities, lessons, and experiences I could explore with my students and our classroom, so I applied to the program with eager anticipation.”
“From the week after I received the acceptance letter from Pets in the Classroom to our current classroom environment, all of my students have worked together, spending time reading, writing, and learning about our new pet, Leonardo. They’ve learned responsibility from this opportunity and it’s been wonderful to watch them learn how to care for another living creature.”
By enabling students to learn about compassion and nurturing, the Pets in the Classroom program cites numerous benefits to placing a live animal in the classroom under charge of a group of students who must work together to create a happy and harmonious environment. Other benefits include building self-esteem, both collective and individual, stimulating learning components in the classroom, and even boosting attendance records. With an animal to care for, students take on the responsibility and oftentimes want to attend school more to ensure proper care of the pet.
Miss Jobak concludes that “It has been a great experience and the kids have been doing a wonderful job taking care of our leopard gecko. The kids are so eager to learn more and to watch him grow.”
Learn more about the Pets in the Classroom grant at www.petsintheclassroom.org.