To help take care of some of those costs, you can apply for a grant from Pets in the Classroom! You can choose from one of 5 pet stores listed on the website, or you can get a rebate to buy a pet that is not listed or from a store that is not listed. I chose PetCo, because there is a store in Maui that I can go to. Once I had selected my store, I got to choose the animal. At PetCo, you can choose from these pets:
- guinea pig
- bearded dragon
- leopard gecko
- crested gecko
- fire belly toad
- tree frog
- corn snake
- ball python
In Hawaii, you cannot buy or own hamsters, geckos, snakes, or dragon lizards, so those were quickly crossed off my list. I am not that adventurous, so I went with fish. I used to have a fish tank in my old class and I missed it! My hubby was afraid it would break on the container over to Hawaii, so I gave it to a former colleague.
After my grant was accepted, Pets in the Classroom sent me a letter verifying that I had indeed won the grant and then some coupons to go shopping at PetCo. I got a coupon for a free ten gallon fish tank, coupons for money off water conditioner and food. I also got a coupon for $5 off a fish. When I went, I was going to be staying the night in Kihei and taking the ferry home the next morning. I was afraid a fish wouldn't make it on the journey, so I just got my supplies.
The tank already has a filter system and came with a thermometer. I had to buy rocks and I bought some plants and decor.
Here it is all set up in my classroom. My kids love the Spongebob pineapple house! They think it's hilarious!
Even without fish, it makes a soothing noise and I'm already enjoying it. The secretary at my school has a freshwater pond in her yard with these pretty little guppies with red tails. I'm hoping she'll maybe give me a few, then I won't have to worry about taking fish on the ferry. Otherwise, one of the other teachers I work with vacationed on Kauai a couple of weeks ago and a pet shop there mailed a beta fish here to Lanai. It went to the post office and all. So, I could do that, too. Since I got the tank for free and I got money off on all the set up, I would be willing to pay a little more for a fish. Hopefully the secretary will just give me one, though :)
Are you thinking about having a classroom pet this year? I definitely urge you to apply for Pets in the Classroom! The application was easy and they were so quick to send over my stuff. I'm excited to have this fish tank in my classroom this year!