School plays a significant role in every child or adolescent’s life. When a child is hospitalized, it interrupts normal routine. The Sunshine School supports that needed normalization by providing structure and distraction of illness. Our program shows children and adolescents that they can expect to return to normal events and have opportunities to be creative and productive while maintaining a sense of identity and hope during hospitalization.
- Facilitate academic instruction for patients based on classroom assignments and educational accommodations.
- Educate professionals of various disciplines to support patients according to individualized needs.
- Advocate for the patient’s educational and psychosocial needs while hospitalized and upon return to the school environment.
- Partner with schools by developing ongoing relationships with teachers and
administrators to meet the educational needs of patients while ensuring their present and future success.
- Communicate relevant information with all those involved in the patient’s education.
Our Alabama certified teachers coordinate the Sunshine School program within the Family Services Department. We believe education is part of every patient’s story; therefore, we strive to bridge the missing link between school systems and the medical world.
- Certified teachers serve patients enrolled in a school program from ages 4 years
through 12th grade
- Free, school-based program that provides educational support of patients with
medical and behavioral health needs
- Hospital teacher meets with the patient and/or family. Educational needs are
assessed and educational services are implemented as needed
- A hospital teacher can discuss patient’s information or educational needs with the
school once given written consent by signing an authorization form
- Parent/Guardian is encouraged to bring all necessary materials to the hospital
for their child such as textbooks, school issued laptop/tablet, and assignments.
Otherwise, assignments may be e-mailed or faxed directly to a hospital teacher
- A hospital teacher:
- is available to assist the patient with completing school assignments
- can make recommendations for a new or updated school plan for re-entry based on individual needs
- collaborates with the medical team to ensure comprehensive care
- provides educational activities and individual instruction in a classroom or at bedside
Children’s of Alabama
Department of Family Services
1600 7th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233