The Pets in the Classroom grant program has named 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, 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 first place winner received a $500 gift card, the second place winner received a $250 gift card and the third 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,” said 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.