A new program to keep kids in school during their hospital stay

Health Watch

When a child is diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening disease, homework is the last thing on their mind.

That’s where a first-of-its-kind program comes in.

School is where kids socialize, learn, and create but what happens when they can’t attend?

One hospital found an out of the box solution.

Almost one year ago, ten-year-old August Terry was diagnosed with a bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. Chemo, radiation, and hospital stays meant going to school was not an option.

Wendy Terry, August’s mother says, ” It was really devastating to her, as far as not being able to go to school and interact with her peers.”

Thankfully, August is being treated at Nemours Children’s Hospital, which means she got to join Peds Academy, a first-of-its-kind, in-hospital school with three-d printers, virtual reality, and robots.

August Terry says, ” They make like normal school into like fun things.”

There are no boring worksheets. Courses are tailored towards kids’ needs.

Megan Nickels, University of Central Florida, says, ” Those courses are redesigned so that our preservice teachers can understand the medical condition of the child and understand what accommodations need to happen in lesson planning.”

Like eleven-year-old Neal, after suffering a rare stroke, his interest in robots blossomed at Peds Academy.

He even won the “future engineers” award for his project in the science fair.

And unlike many hospital programs with up to a one to 400 teacher-student ratio.

” We have a 60 to 100 teacher-student ratio, ” continues Nickels.

That means August and Neal get an amazing education until they’re ready to head home.

Peds Academy is available free of charge to all children up through collegiate studies, whether they’re in Nemours Hospital for days or years.

Currently, there are other hospitals around the country interested in adopting this model in order to have their own Peds Academy.

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