When a child is undergoing treatment for cancer or a blood disorder, it’s important for that child to return to school as soon as he or she is medically cleared.
Often, schoolwork can be a welcome distraction from treatment or painful procedures. And, returning to school offers these benefits for children and their families:
- a sense of normalcy
- a "back-to-routine life"
- a sense of purpose and achievement
- a time to transform fear to hope for the future
- time to socialize with peers
Our School Intervention and Re-Entry Team is made up of physicians, nurses, child life specialists, and educational liaisons who work with school personnel including teachers, school nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists and other staff members in a joint effort to ease the child's return to the classroom. All services are free to our patients.
Stony Brook's School Intervention and Re-Entry Program is nationally and internationally recognized. It serves as a model for other institutions, with team members presenting at national conferences frequently as well as serving on boards of nationwide professional organizations. The School Intervention and Re-Entry Program was honored as the 2007 Educators of the Year by The Village Time Herald newspaper. In 2009, a team of 11 nurses, professors, researchers, and nursing students from Hamamatsu Medical University Hospital and School of Nursing in Japan visited Stony Brook Children's Hospital to meet with the School Intervention and Re-Entry Program to observe and research how to build and implement a successful School Intervention Program at their institution.
In fall 2015, Stony Brook Children’s was awarded $20,000 from CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Stony Brook was one of just 14 recipients nationwide to receive grant funding through this organization’s Community Impact Awards (CCIA) program. Stony Brook’s grant will go directly toward the School Intervention and Re-Entry Program (SIRE). It will support psycho-social resources and programming for pediatric cancer patients and their families participating in this vital program. The CCIA’s mission is to provide support to existing programs in order to accelerate and deliver the highest quality care to children with cancer. A total of $240,000 was awarded nationally to projects having an impact on new drugs, patient-centered outcomes and community engagement.