Teachers looking for just the right pet for their classroom just got a big helping hand from the Pets in the Classroom grant program, created by the Pet Care Trust. The grant provides eligible teachers with funds to use at their local PetSmart store towards the purchase of a classroom pet and the essentials needed to care for that pet, from habitat to accessories and food.
Beginning today, the grant program is now open to elementary and middle school teachers, pre-kindergarten to 8th grade. They now have more choices when it comes to pets, and the newly added animals were specifically requested by teachers who are currently participating in the grant program. Teachers can access the grant application at www.petsmart.com/teachers . Once approved, the teacher should consult with a PetSmart pet care expert to determine which one of the following pets will best fit with their individual classroom setting.
New pets available through the program include:
— Rats are smart and trainable, enabling children to learn how to teach tricks to a pet.
— Snakes are docile animals who do not mind being handled. Their habitat and nutrition needs are a little more involved, which means they are better pet options for older children.
— Turtles like to spend time on land and in the water and eat a varied diet, which can help children learn the importance of well-rounded nutrition.
Other pets from PetSmart also available through the Pets in the Classroom Program:
— Hamsters make fun classroom pets because they are active and teach children the importance of schedules and responsibilities.
— Guinea Pigs are easily handled and encourage children to follow a regimented routine.
— Fish are a great way to illustrate basic chemistry and biology principles while students follow regularly scheduled water changes.
— Bearded Dragons depend on their environment for heating and cooling and are a great way to teach students about geography and the environment.
— Leopard Geckos are docile in nature and teach children about different nocturnal behaviors.