Following the tremendous success of the Pets in the Classroom Grant Program to date, and numerous requests from teachers of 7th & 8th grade classes to be eligible for funding, the Pet Care Trust Board has agreed to expand the program’s reach to those grades beginning in 2012.
Established by the Pet Care Trust in 2009, Pets in the Classroom has provided grants to Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth grade teachers to purchase or adopt a new pet and required equipment or to support existing classroom pets. The Pets in the Classroom program has seen over 7,000 grant requests since the program’s inception.
With an average classroom size of 30 students, the program has brought a pet into the lives of an estimated 210,000 students. The addition of grant availability to 7th and 8th grade teachers will help increase the number of children positively influenced through the human-animal bond and the numerous benefits that come from learning about responsible pet care.
“Middle school students will benefit from interaction with classroom pets as much or more than elementary school children,” commented Pet Care Trust president Brent Weinmann. “7th and 8th grade teachers will be able to incorporate classroom pets into many study areas, helping their pre-teen students gain a greater understanding of the natural world and responsible pet ownership.”
Weinmann added, “This rapid expansion of grant requests is making our goal to reach one million students very realistic. To reach this number we estimate nearly $3 million in grants will need to be issued, The Trust is looking for companies or individuals willing to help us by sponsoring classrooms. As little as $100 can sponsor a classroom and reach approximately 30 kids.”
For more information on the Pet Care Trust and the Pets in the Classroom grant program, visit www.petsintheclassroom.org.