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Pets in the Classroom Grant Program | How Teachers Add Pets to Their Classroom (for FREE!)

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girl petting guinea pig

Calling all teachers! Add a pet to your classroom this year!

On August 1st, Pets in the Classroom will once again begin taking applications for the 2019 – 2020 school year! This amazing grant program provides teachers financial support to purchase and maintain small animals in their classroom – anything from a fish, hamster, gerbil, guinea pig or parakeet.

Note that this is not a first come first-served program – ALL teachers that qualify for the program will receive a grant! They do ask that you carefully consider what type of pet you want for your room as well as district guidelines and even suggest that you have your students vote on what type of animal they would prefer!

kids holding class pet

The Pets in the Classroom grant can be applied for every school year; however, if you have previously received the grant you will only be eligible for a sustaining grant to help provide for the classroom pet you have already purchased. If you no longer have the original pet, you can also use the sustaining grant to purchase a new pet and supplies.

Teacher Pre-K through 9th grade in both public and private schools are eligible to apply for the grants. Head here to learn more about the program!


Check out this comment left by a teacher on last year’s post:

I did this last year after seeing it here and it worked out great! I did the aquarium with fish from a private pet store. Everything was reimbursed that way versus going through the big chain store coupons were there is a price. I got neon rocks, fake plants, and extra food and filters since I had extra to spend.

 

It was nice to support a local shop too. I would recommend just normal little inexpensive tetras to start. I bought Goldfish at first but they weren’t as hardy. My students loved it and I would definitely recommend it since it was easy to buy at a local shop, submit the receipt by the due date, and get a check in mail.


Check out all these discounts teachers can score!

Join The Discussion

Comments 12

  1. Jamie A

    I did this when I was teaching kindergarten – I had a leopard gecko and the kids loved him! Each year after that, I would apply for the $50 grant to help with supplies to take care of him.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      That sounds like it was probably a lot of fun for the kids! What a great learning experience for them, Jamie A! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sara

    What’s a good pet for a portable? The classroom is one of those standalone portables that are not attached to the main building. I’m not sure which pet would survive. The air condition is a portable one that’s hooked to the window.
    Thanks for the ideas.
    Sidenote : I’m not interested in any lizards/ reptiles, or any rodents.

    I’m still in the deciding mode, and taking ideas to consider.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. llk

    I wish more teachers would let parents know before adding a pet to their classroom. We had to move our son to another classroom in 1st grade when his teacher brought a guinea pig The class had written a story and named the animal before I found out about it. My son started getting sick and having asthma attacks from day one. In the end the school offered to have the teacher take the guinea pig home but we did not want our son to be forever know as the reason the animal had to go. Plus the dander was already in all the carpeting.

    • Mamamia

      So my daughter has allergies and asthma and I let the school know Around May that my daughter can’t be in a class with a pet. I send another reminder about a week before school ends, and then one more before school begins. I’m a teacher so I know how much these reminders are appreciated when swamped with a million other end -of -year tasks.

    • tipaye

      Agreed

  4. Melissa

    How about a grant for my family who had to take in 2 guinea pigs after the teacher got tired of them?

  5. Ann Marie

    Does this apply to homeschool teachers?

    • Chelsey (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Ann Marie! On the application it says that homeschool teachers do not qualify for the grant at this time.

  6. Lora

    What about learning academy teachers that have more than one grade in their class? Does this apply to them?

  7. Homecake

    Oh man, please dear God be responsible when making this decision. So many animal rescue groups just received Guinea Pigs from schools when they let out for the summer. All instances of uneducated care. Love teachers. Related to several. Not all teachers are the same. Please be responsible when taking on a pet, guinea pig, especially in a classroom.

    • Nicole___

      Agree with this! This is why I won’t have a classroom pet. My students begged for one this past year, and while 5th graders can help take care of a pet, I don’t want to be responsible for one more thing and having to take it home over breaks.

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