Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Counseling Critters

Last year we lost our library Blondie. She was adorable and I miss seeing her every morning. I know what your thinking "a rat!" Really, she was great and when she passed the students filled a book with wonderful stories, memories, and goodbye wishes.  She was a sweet gentle creature that the students loved talking to, carrying around, and reading to. I am a firm believer in pet therapy.

So, I have been playing around with the idea of getting a counseling office pet. When I started the search I found some amazing resources. First, is an amazing kit from Petco. This lesson in a box is a great way of introducing pets into the classroom and discussing the importance of taking care of them. What a great idea for teachers! I think I will ask my Student Council members to assist with pet care so I plan on doing this lesson in a box with them. Want to know the best part it's FREE! Yep, I didn't even have to pay shipping.
Carefresh Lesson in a Box Small Animal Pet Care Classroom Kit

I continued my search and found a wonderful blog by  First Grade Brigade. Kristen has a wonderful entry on pets  and turned me onto Pets In The Classroom. Not only does the website share great information about the benefits of pets in the classroom (something I can't stress enough), but it also has some wonderful links to grants that can apply for. Did you know there were pet grants? I didn't and I am adding apply for a grant to my bucket list of the year!

Pet Care Trust LogoSo here is where I am stuck. What type of pet do I want? Petsmart offers grants for:
  • Hamster
  • Guinea Pig
  • Bearded Dragon
  • Leopard Gecko
  • Fish
  • Aquatic Turtle
  • Snake
  • Fancy Rat
 Petco also offers grants with a similar, but shorter list. So what do you think? Do I want one that stays in my office or can go class to class? Do I want a soft fluffy one whose cage might smell or a smell free fish that the kids can't snuggle with?

Ok readers help me out, what type of pet do you think would be good? Also, has anyone ever applied for one of these grants? All tips are welcome!

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