Shining Star School

Children who are hospitalized or live with a chronic illness benefit from keeping as much of their regular routines as possible, and attending school and doing homework are a healthy part of those routines. SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital opened the Shining Star School in 2013 to promote the general academic, social and emotional development and overall well-being of children in the hospital. More than 1,000 children each year benefit from the dedication of two full-time teachers and more than two dozen volunteers.

Research has shown that regular school attendance while hospitalized, and quick school re-entry once a child is discharged, both play a key role in helping them cope with their illness and recovery. Keeping up with school work helps to maintain a sense of normalcy, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety for both children and their parents.

The Shining Star School provides a variety of services for our patients and families, including:

  • Assessment for children in grades K-12 who have been in the hospital for three days or longer, or who have frequent admissions or outpatient visits.
  • Direct bedside instruction or group instruction in the classroom.
  • Collaboration with the child’s parents and schools to obtain academic history, assignments and assist with the transition back to the child’s school or homebound services.
  • Educational activities centered around holidays or special events to supplement schoolwork and help keep children connected to the world and their community.

Through the Shining Star School’s dedication to each child’s learning, we are investing in their future academic success.

How Your Support Will Help

By supporting the Shining Star School, you are helping us make a difference in the lives of children in the following ways:

Staff Resources. The Shining Star School relies heavily on donor support. Gifts to the Shining Star School enable the hospital to maintain the current staffing and to expand in the future to serve even more children.

Operational Support. Additional support allows the school to purchase the necessary equipment, books, curricula and other teaching tools necessary to provide a fun and stimulating learning environment for children of all ages and with a wide variety of needs.

Staff Education. The Shining Star School teachers benefit from attending annual conferences and other learning opportunities in order to network with other teachers and stay informed about changes in their field.