Local teacher places in national classroom pet contest

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 1:46 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An Upstate teacher is getting recognized for how she’s used a classroom pet to help her students learn.

Madeline Crowder from Gray Court-Owings School came in second place in the “Pets in the Classroom Success Story” contest.

The Pets in the Classroom grant program provides grants to Pre-Kindergarten through 9th-grade teachers both in private and public schools for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining classroom pets.

Crowder submitted a video showing how her class’ pet leopard gecko, Mister Pickles, has helped students learn about animals and responsibility.

Crowder’s video won her second place and a $2580 prize to help care for Mister Pickles.

“Classroom animals are wonderful resources for teachers that, when incorporated into lesson plans, can have a profound impact,” said the Contest. 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 about the Pets in the Classroom grant program, click here.

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