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KPS 5th Graders Foster Rats to be Adopted

Students in Kelly Moxley’s classroom at Kingsford Park Elementary School have learned more about research, community service and the importance of social-emotional learning thanks to connections with rats.
Two furry, long-tailed creatures recently joined the classroom space to help students be more mindful of themselves and their surroundings, while simultaneously socializing the domesticated rats as they were fostered to become adopted.
“We have rats in our class in case we’re stressed; they keep us calm,” said student Kiara Rose.
Moxley said the integration of daily social-emotional learning time with her students this year has improved both the environments for individual students, as well as the classroom culture. In the classroom, the rats Piaget and Pavlov, have taken turns at designated times visiting students, crawling on their shoulders or snuggling up. One student said the cute and cuddly rodents reminded him of the animals at a relative’s house, which brought him to a happy place mentally when he had a bad day.
Prior to the rats’ arrival to Moxley’s classroom, the students researched rats, found their likes and dislikes, how to care for them and other pertinent information. Since both rats were well socialized in a month’s time, they were recently adopted out to a local family. Moxley said since the trial basis was so successful, she will again have rats, and possibly ferrets, or others in her classroom to accommodate students in need and the animals in need of forever homes.
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