LLCA: Fish, Frogs, and Snakes – Oh My!

Let’s face it. Sometimes pets can be a lot of work. Our friendly, furry friends take time, energy, and money. For these reasons and many others, some families choose not to have pets at home, but did you know that Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) loves pets? In fact, many of the classrooms at LLCA have classroom pets. Now these school pets definitely do not take the place of a family pet, but they offer some of the same benefits to LLCA students.

Students at LLCA have adopted Mushu, the leopard gecko. Photo courtesy Barbara Cohen.

For all the pet lovers in our community, you will be glad to know that LLCA recognizes the importance that pets have on our lives. From furry friends to slithering reptiles, classroom pets help facilitate responsibility, develop social skills, and teach empathy and compassion. Research shows that students who have access to classroom pets also learn that spending time with a pet can help reduce stress and anxiety. Many of us know what it feels like to have a stress-filled day to find comfort in cuddling with our pet or sitting down to watch the beauty of fish swimming in a tank. Students learn to find ways to reduce their own stress and anxiety when they care for their classroom pets. Students in our after-school program, Raptor Care, ensure that their pet tetras are fed and kept healthy. Art students help train their classroom parakeet,Link, as he models for them. Mushu, the leopard gecko, has been adopted by middle school students. Mushu has been part of the middle school team since 2020. Along with Mushu, middle and high school students take care of other school pets. There are five chickens that call LLCA home, and these chickens also teach students responsibility and social skills. High school students have learned that the care and management of producing one egg each day takes a lot of work from their chickens.

There is no denying that pets teach students many important life skills. LLCA understands that not all children can have a pet at home and strives to make it possible for all students to learn from our school pets. To learn more about how LLCA integrates the care of classroom pets into their educational focus, or to visit the school please reach out to us by calling (828) 625-9292. You can also visit our website at

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