Students Learn Skills Through Teacher's Passion for Animals

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You might call it a mini zoo but Erika Chairez calls it her classroom, and home of Rowlett High School's Animal Crew. 

It's an after-school club where students come to care for and learn about various types of animals. 

"Lucy the red one she'd fight my rabbit and just hit everyone and make herself seem like she's in the center of the world," said Melissa Dimas, student.

While she teaches science, animals have always been a love and passion for Chairez. Out of her own pocket, she pays to run all this, passing along a love of animals to her students, but make no mistake about it, it's work.

"When you join the Animal Crew you have to put the animal needs first before that of ourselves. We as a group as a team, we don't get to handle the animals in a loving caring way until all the animal duties are done," said Chairez.

The students are able to develop an appreciation for the work.

"I used to want to be a marine biologist and now this. Yeah I still am working toward this career," said Fabian Flores.

The animals each have a story too. 

"Mrs. Pecky came to us she was not having a good time in her home, she was blind, she had a cataract and her sisters were picking on her and not letting her eat, now she's the owner of the classroom," said Chairez.

They're learning about responsibility and teamwork, turning passions into professions.

If any companies want to financially support or partner with Animal Crew, you can reach them via Rowlett High School.

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