Have you heard of Pets In The Classroom?
This is a wonderful organization that helps Pre-K through 8th grade teachers support pets in the classroom through direct, no-hassle educational grants. You can obtain a grant for the purchase of new pets, pet environments or pet food and supplies for existing classroom pets. I applied for and received a grant last year which provided me with the funds to get a 10 gallon aquarium for my classroom. It was a totally simple and quick application to complete and I found out within a few weeks that I had been one of the recipients. Within a couple of weeks of being notified, I received a packet in the mail with coupons to go to the pet store I had chosen to purchase the items I needed.
This year I applied for and was ecstatic to have received a sustaining grant. These grants are intended to support pets or aquariums in the classroom for the purposes of teaching children to bond with and care for their pets responsibly. The sustaining grants are in the amount of $50 which allowed me to purchase new filter pads, a decorative rock and background to improve the habitat of our fish, fish food, supplies to clean the tank and some new fish.
Again, I can't say enough about this organization and the joy it has brought to my class over the past year. My kiddos have become very responsible in helping to feed our fish and check the temperature of the water and have acquired a love for our pets. On a daily basis you will find kiddos over by the tank checking on the fish, reading to the fish and even writing to them!
If you are interested in a classroom pet, I encourage you to check out the Pets in the Classroom site for more details. Pets are not limited to fish. you can also apply for grants to purchase small animals, birds, and reptiles.