Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers who are interested in owning or already own a classroom pet can apply to receive funding through the Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom grant program beginning August 1 for the 2016-2017 school year.
The grant program provides 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 with funding toward a small animal or for pet supplies.
Studies from the American Humane Association and the Pet Care Trust, among others, indicate that classroom pets provide a variety of benefits to students, including improving school attendance, encouraging nurturing, building self-esteem, promoting empathy, teaching responsibility, stimulating learning, enriching the classroom experience and becoming friends to students. Thus, the Pet Care Trust has established the goal of introducing five million children in 100,000 classrooms to pets and the benefits they provide. To date, 76,475 grants have been issued, allowing nearly three million children to experience these benefits thanks to the Pets in the Classroom grant program.
Through the grant program, teachers have the option to obtain a pet through one of the program’s participating retailers—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 welcome to apply for a sustaining grant, which provides up to $50 to maintain an existing classroom pet. With eight different grant types, each teacher has the opportunity to choose which grant is right for him or her through a direct, no-hassle application on the Pets in the Classroom website at www.PetsintheClassroom.org.