Bridging the gap between hospital, school & home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) Hospital visits, for any reason, can interrupt a child’s school life. Whether it’s missing a week of school, or a couple months for treatment, the hospital’s school services can help kids keep up. Sarah Smith, is a hospital school teacher at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. She joined  eightWest to talk with us about the program and what it’s doing for hospitalized students.

There are three main services provided to the patients:

  • Club Taking Care of Business (TCB) hands-on classroom experience, video lessons, normalcy through social/academic routines
  • School Liaison collaborate with schools, encourage balance between medical and educational needs of the patient/student
  • Hospital Teacher provides academic support for school-aged children, bedside and group instruction and share educational materials and assistance

The hospital’s  school aims to bridge the gap between hospital, school, and home. The program reduces future educational concerns due to medical illness and provides educational opportunities during treatment while  maintaing involvement in normal routines.

In 2016-2017 school year, the hospital provided lessons to more than 400 students in the classroom setting and almost 1,200 students at the bedside. Teachers provide information to the schools on what the patient’s medical condition is and how it will affect their learning.

Hospital school is part of the Child Life program in the hospital and is staffed by volunteers and other child life specialists. The program is funded by donation through the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation. This year, the #GivingTuesday campaign is focused on the Hospital school. It’s a one day dedicated to raising money for this program. #GivingTuesday is November 28th.

Contact information
Hospital School Program
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
616.267.0924
give.spectrumhealth.org/teacher