SUMMIT, NJ - The Critter Club is a morning and afternoon life science club where students learn responsibility, teamwork, life skills, and positive socio-emotional behaviors through a hands-on experience.  Thanks to a grant from the Summit Educational Foundation (SEF), students learn to care for various animals under the supervision and guidance of two certified Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS) science teachers – Jeremy Travis and Amy Wysoczynski.  Experienced club members gain more responsibility when they earn status as a member of “Critter Care” -- those students who are allowed to feed and care for the various animals each morning and afternoon.

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School teacher and SEF grant co-author, Travis says, "The Critter Club attracts a diverse group of more than 80 students from the middle school grades.  The kids enjoy learning about the animals while gaining opportunities for socialization and leadership, and building responsibility."   Wysoczynski, also a grant author, explains, “Currently, we have two Bearded Dragons, one Mali Uromastyx, three Leopard Geckos, and one Corn Snake.  These kinds of animals are not ones people normal have at home as pets.  So, kids just love to come in and watch what the animals are doing!”  Kavya Dayananth, seventh grade student at LCJSMS adds, "It's great to take care of the animals. It's a big responsibility and fun to do with friends."

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