Starlight Education: Delivering Happiness Through Accessible Learning

For 40 years, Starlight has brought smiles to seriously ill kids by developing fun and accessible entertainment options that offer comfort during their hospital stay. Now, we are excited to offer these kids an even more holistic childhood experience through our newest program – Starlight Education.

The last two years have been challenging for all children, as schools across the nation have adapted and shifted to online learning options. Sadly, this kind of life-changing disruption is not new for hospitalized kids. From unexpected injuries to ongoing treatment for severe illnesses, even a brief hospitalization can cause a child to miss school, impacting their overall mental health and educational development.

This impact is even greater for hospitalized kids in vulnerable and medically underserved populations. 62% of Starlight’s partner hospitals provide care in high-poverty areas, which means many of their young patients can't access educational resources beyond what is provided by their school.

On average, US families spend more than $840 per year on a child’s school supplies. While parents worry about their child’s illness causing missed social interactions and learning opportunities at school, they also carry a significant financial burden. From the increasingly high costs of food, gas, and housing to the overwhelming price tag of hospital care, things like school supplies or tutoring are often not an option.

Starlight Education supports these families in three key ways.

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    Online STEAM Coaching

    In partnership with CoachArt, Starlight now offers free virtual learning through Online STEAM Coaching. Kids can choose their favorite subjects spanning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math and be matched with a vetted virtual coach who will facilitate their selected curriculum and provide support. Once a child is signed up, they can receive instruction both at the hospital and when they are recovering at home.

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    Starlight’s Build-a-Backpack offers hospitals a way to create custom backpacks for their young patients. Through our online Hub, hospital staff has the opportunity to choose from a list of common school essentials and request Starlight backpacks that can be filled with supplies appropriate for each patient’s learning level.

    How to Build-a-Backpack
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    Interactive Starlight Gowns

    We continue to incorporate educational components into our existing programs. From thoughtfully selected books and toys that encourage learning to interactive Starlight Gowns with scannable QR codes that link to educational content and games, each program offers a unique learning experience for hospitalized kids.

    Delivering Education

Every kid deserves the opportunity to learn, and while we can’t change a child’s diagnosis or situation, we can provide the tools and resources to help them through their challenges. But we need donors like you to do this important work. 

Just $18 can provide a child with one month of virtual learning with online STEAM coaching. Donate $18 or more today to help Starlight deliver happiness through education to millions of kids across the United States!

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