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“Before his return [to school], social workers from The Valerie Center talked to his classmates and teachers about the nature of his condition and the importance of keeping him away from germs. They also showed the kids a wonderful movie to help them understand what Sebastian was going through.”
Many children have difficulty socializing and keeping up with schoolwork after they become sick. Often schoolmates do not know how to relate to their friend who is ill. To help children successfully return to school after diagnosis or treatment, The Valerie Fund's School Re-Entry program helps to preserve the child's ability to function as a student while undergoing treatment. The goal is to create the most compassionate environment during the child's return and re-integration into school.
A child life therapist facilitates a school re-entry session for the benefit of the child, his/her classmates, and teachers to prepare the school community for the child's return. Our child life specialists go to the child’s classroom and do role playing using dolls to help the children better understand their classmates illness. This program is designed based on age group.
After the presentation, the child life specialist leaves age appropriate materials, with the child's teacher for future needs. In addition, the child life specialist is available for contact by phone or e-mail, or will even revisit the school if parents and/or teachers feel that doing so will make the patient more comfortable at school.
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"Every patient who goes through The Valerie Fund becomes a part of something much bigger." -Justin Festa