The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

Grant Program Announces Curriculum Contest Winners

Pets in the Classroom awards teachers for lesson plan submissions built around their classroom pets.

Abingdon, Md. The Pets in the Classroom grant program is proud to announce the winning entries of its Pets in the Classroom Curriculum Contest: Pre-K to 2nd Grade, “Gerbils in the Willow Room” by Emily Colwell and Michelle Colby; 3rd to 5th Grade, “Mystery: What is that in the Hermit Crab Habitat” by Sandra Schroeder; and 6th to 8th Grade, “Coral Reefs in the Classroom” by Carol Mickus. Each of the winners received a certificate of achievement and a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

The contest asked teachers to submit their lesson plan ideas that centered on the use of small classroom pets in the form of worksheets, photos, Power Point presentations, fliers, or any written lesson plans. Entries were evaluated based on the following criteria for each category (PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8):

  • Progressive- having the ability to communicate multiple topics or one topic across different depths of knowledge
  • Interactive-having the students or parents actively seek out and record their knowledge
  • Thorough-lesson plan is complete with stated objectives and evaluation of results
  • Challenging-the students are pushed to expand their knowledge and pets are an integral part of the classroom curriculum

The winning entries as well as other entries are featured on the Pets in the Classroom website, allowing teachers to utilize and adapt lesson plans for their own use in their classroom.

“The teaching community is an incredibly caring and sharing group,” commented Pet Care Trust executive director Steve King. “We were delighted that so many teachers were willing to freely share their work with fellow teachers. There is no shortage of creativity, compassion and devotion to learning among the teachers who have incorporated pets into their lesson plans.”

The Pets in the Classroom grant program provides grants to Pre-Kindergarten through 8th 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 on the Pets in the Classroom grant program or the Curriculum Contest, visit