Gray Court-Owings teacher places second in national video contest | News

The Pets in the Classroom grant program recently announced the winners of the Pets in the Classroom Success Story Video Contest. The Contest, open to Pets in the Classroom grant recipients, asked teachers to share about their classroom pet experience.

The winners are:

1st Place:

Kylie Garr

Mrs. Garr’s Kindergarten Class Pets

2nd Place:

Madeline Crowder – Gray Court-Owings School

Mrs. Crowder’s Class Pets in the Classroom Success Story

3rd Place:

Lisa Cosgrove

Pets in the Classroom Contest

The Contest had teachers submit video entries showing the positive changes they’ve seen in their classroom due to their classroom pet. A committee of judges selected the winners. The 1st place winner received a $500 gift card, the 2nd place winner received a $250 gift card, and the 3rd place winner received a $100 gift card.

In the winning videos, the teachers and students express a variety of benefits they experience because of their classroom pets: they improve classroom community, increase whole-school community, help students bond through projects, make students excited to come to school, teach responsibility, are therapy pets for students with anxiety, bring joy, and are a best friend.

“We continually hear feedback from teachers on the positive changes they see in their students thanks to a classroom pet,” commented Matt Coffindaffer, Executive Director of the Pets in the Classroom grant program. “The Contest allows teachers to share these benefits in a fun, personal manner, helping spread awareness of the many benefits classroom pets can provide.”

The Pets in the Classroom grant program provides grants to Pre-Kindergarten through 9th grade teachers in both private and public schools for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining classroom pets.

Classroom animals are wonderful resources for teachers that, when incorporated into lesson plans, can have a profound impact. Classroom pets not only provide excitement in the classroom, but they also benefit students by teaching them responsible, long-term pet care at an early age and providing the psychological and developmental benefits associated with the human-animal bond.

Studies have shown that caring for pets has a positive effect on children, improving school attendance and teaching children responsibility, as well as encouraging nurturing and building self-esteem.

For more information about the Pets in the Classroom grant program, visit

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