The Pet Care Trust has earned a 2015 ASAE Power of A Silver Award for its Pets in the Classroom program, which provides grants for teachers of grades Pre-K to 8th grade to obtain a classroom pet and the habitat, food, bedding and other items needed to properly care for the animal.

ASAE honored the program which provides grants to teachers who have limited resources available for classroom enhancements and extra-curricular activities. Many teachers pay out of their own pockets to provide their students with tools that enhance the learning environment. Grants are available for small animals (guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, rabbits), reptiles and amphibians (turtles, frogs, snakes, and lizards), tropical fish and birds.

“Congratulations to The Pet Care Trust for helping make the world a better place,” said Hugh “Mac” Cannon, MPA, CAE, Executive Director of ACEC of Metropolitan Washington, and chair of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. “Their story exemplifies how associations make a difference every day – not just to the industry or profession they represent, but to society at large.”

To date, Pets in the Classroom has awarded more than 56,000 grants to teachers, with over 16,000 grants awarded this school year alone. 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.

“The Pet Care Trust Board has set a goal of placing a pet in 100,000 classrooms, and we are well on our way,” said Steven T. King, Executive Director of The Pet Care Trust. “We know from the many letters we receive from teachers that the presence of a pet in their classroom helps teach children responsibility, improves attendance and class behavior, and adds interest and an element of fun to the curriculum.”

ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global level.  The Power of A Awards reward outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals for their efforts to enrich lives, create a competitive workforce, prepare society for the future, drive innovation and make a better world.