School-in-a-hospital: Bringing smiles and routine when kids need it most

Hospital School at Cardon Children's

The early days of Christmas break started out as absolute joy. No rush to get the kids out the door and get ready for work. Lazy breakfasts morphing into brunch. Laundry could wait.

Life was good.

A week into this, the drama began. The toddler wanted to stay indoors, the preschooler out. Both wanted to play with the same toy (the SAME set) even if grandma had sent one for each.

The one chair among 20 in the house suddenly became the prized one on which both HAD to sit right then.

And then it dawned on me. Structure is vital for kids and that’s where school comes to our rescue most of the year.

But what about young children who are ill and hospitalized for a long time? Their parents are so busy worrying about their health and well-being, they may not even think, at least at first, about what becomes of learning and education for their sick young one. The ABCs often drop in priority.

But many hospitalized children say they miss, almost crave that routine. It’s a semblance of normalcy in their life.

Last summer, I blogged about the Hospital School at Banner Children’s at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. It was my introduction to this incredible resource for young patients. I wrote about Alex, a precocious boy with an engaging smile, (flip to page 23 to read the story or click on the video on the left panel) whom I’ll never forget.

So, I was heartened to hear that the Phoenix Suns Charities recently donated $6,000 to the Hospital School program. It’s a testament to the work that’s being done, much of it on a volunteer basis, and all dependent on generous donors, big and small.

The holiday season tends to bring out the charitable side among many of us. I supported the school in my own small way.

My children are now back at school, and back into their routine. But for families who do not know when the same might be possible for their child, it was my way of letting them know that I also supported providing some kind of structure for theirs by helping bring the classroom to them.


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