As children across the country have returned to classrooms for in-person instruction, so many others have spent days, weeks, and even months in the hospital, receiving instruction from their hospital bed or from home during recovery.  

Starlight’s Education program helps make learning fun and accessible for kids who are stuck in the hospital. Launched in 2021, Starlight's Build-a-Backpack deliveries allow hospitals to identify the supplies they need and create custom Starlight school backpacks for patients.  

Since last year, we have already delivered over 600,000 school supplies, including notebooks, pens, pencils, calculators, and backpacks, to 351 hospitals in 49 US states, impacting over 5,800 seriously ill and injured kids.   

Take a look at how Build-a-Backpacks have impacted young patients!

  • “The school supplies, especially the backpacks and pencil pouches, are a great addition for our in-house teacher to use with patients for their school work or as rewards and incentive to do school work.” - Child Life, ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children’s Hospital 

  • “Thank you SOOO much for the backpacks and school supplies as well! One of my care managers was telling me that she has three siblings coming in tomorrow with their grandma and needs all new school supplies because of a social situation. This has come at the perfect time.” - Child Life, Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital 

  • “We absolutely LOVE the school supply availability!  The notebooks and calculators are perfect for our new-onset diabetic patients that are learning how to calculate their insulin doses and need to keep track. The bags are super helpful for patients that have stayed for a while and have a small collection of “things” to take home.” - Child Life, Children's Regional Hospital at Cooper 

"The Starlight School Supplies are wonderful to have on hand for our pediatric patients!  It allows us to offer resources and supplies to help our patients more easily keep up with their schoolwork while they are admitted.  We are also able to provide supplies to some of our at-risk families." said the Child Life team at the Swedish American Hospital.

  • “We decided instead of giving them as a back-to-school backpack, we are using them as a Graduation from Speech, Occupational, or Physical Therapy services. A majority of our kids have a diagnosis where they will be here for years to come. We do a 6-month course of care and then you are discharged for 6 months to put your skills you have acquired to use and practice them in school, home, with peers. We are hoping the backpacks are a "don't have anxiety! You Got this!" jumpstart." - Pediatric Rehab Therapy Services, Conifer Health Solutions 

  • “At our rural hospital in northern Wisconsin, we see a LOT of families that are considered lower socioeconomic status and don’t have the things they need to get by day-to-day. These school supplies have allowed us to provided needed items for our patients during their hospital stay to stay involved in their schoolwork while in the hospital, but also have provided these patients and their families things that they can leave the hospital with and have the supplies necessary for their child at school. It is truly a remarkable feeling to know that we are giving these patients and families they need long after they leave the hospital.” - Child Life, Marshfield Children’s Hospital 

  • “We are ALWAYS so grateful for the wonderful gifts, toys and supplies we received from Starlight and these backpacks are no different. For many of our patients, the anticipation of in-person learning has been exciting and overwhelming. Some of our patients have had staggered re-entry due to the nature of their illness, adding another element of stress to navigate. Providing these backpacks filled with the basics has been gratefully welcomed by our patients, as well as their families.” - Child Life Coordinator, Cedars Sinai Medical Center 

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