Quantcast

UVA Hospital Program Keeps Children Learning While in Care

Posted: Updated:
A program at UVA's Children's Hospital is keeping kids in the classroom. A program at UVA's Children's Hospital is keeping kids in the classroom.
Colton Kopcinski is learning about the life cycle of polar bears. Colton Kopcinski is learning about the life cycle of polar bears.
UVA is one of three hospitals in Virginia to have the program. UVA is one of three hospitals in Virginia to have the program.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A program at the UVA Children’s Hospital is helping patients keep up with school work while they are in the hospital long-term.

While in the hospital, students have their lesson plans tailored to their needs and work for short periods throughout the day. UVA’s Children’s Hospital is one of only three in the state of Virginia to offer education services to students while they are being treated.

One student taking part in the program is second-grader Colton Kopcinski. His mom said she can see the difference and it gives him goals to work towards.

“It gives him something to look forward to and something to do,” said Colton’s mom Stephanie Kopcinski. “It's been really meaningful to us for him to continue his education and keep up with his schooling."

Kopcinski praised the program's teachers and the communication between the hospital and the school.

The Hospital Education Program is a partnership with the Department of Education, Charlottesville City Schools, and the University of Virginia.

“When they come in the classroom or when I bring materials into their bedside, they’re just very excited to have the experience of spending time learning and doing something that takes their mind off of why they’re there,” said elementary school teacher Deborah Johnson. "We're really getting to know the families on a more intimate level."

When students have a prolonged stay at the children’s hospital, they receive grades, report cards, and all of that is sent back to their home school so their teacher will know what they have been working on.

"What school brings is a sense of normalcy," said principal of the hospital Education Program at UVA Health Systems Eric Johnson. 

Johnson says the classrooms in the school are declared "ouch-free zones," where students can focus on learning instead of treatments. According, to Johnson, the students are generally excited when it's time to have class.