Some schools keep fish tanks, snakes and other miniature habitats for a variety of animals. It can help build children’s empathy, responsibility and other life skills, according to Blue Cross. If a school opts to have pets, they tend to be small and easy to maintain.
Studies show reading to animals not only helps children improve their reading skills, but their self-confidence as well, according to the Conversation. It also helps with teaching and creating interest in the children for whatever subject is being taught. Pets help provide a concrete point of reference for children, improving retention.
Overall, they tend to have a calming effect on children. Having animals tends to lessen any tension in the classroom, and children would seek their comfort about 40 percent of the time they felt down, tired or scared, according to Pets in the Classroom.
Most schools don’t have cats living on their grounds, roaming freely and sometimes found in the strangest of window nooks and crannies, or a little chicken coop tucked away. Akua has the space for the cats to lounge freely, making it easy for both the animals and to take care of them. We believe interacting with nature in all forms is important to fostering unity and respect for it.
That being said, the decision to include pets on our property was made carefully. We recognize there are certain responsibilities one must take when taking care of any animal, especially one that lives in a school environment. The animals are content to wander around our spacious property and are not forced to be anywhere they don’t wish to be. We believe in coexisting with nature, but not forcing it to fit within our needs.