School is a vital part of childhood. It’s a place to learn, have fun, and interact with other children. But cancer, in addition to its negative health impacts, can rob kids of the opportunity to attend school for months, even years.
For more than a quarter-century, MD Anderson’s Pediatric Education and Creative Arts Program has helped young cancer patients succeed academically. A fully accredited private school supports outpatients and inpatients, and a school re-entry program teams with children and families from diagnosis through survivorship. In addition, a full-time certified art teacher provides classes and leads onsite MD Anderson Children’s Art Project groups.
Last year the program, which is donor funded, faced a budget crisis, one that threatened to force deep staff cuts. A grant of $150,000 from the Annual Fund came to the rescue.
“We were so fortunate to receive this support,” says Shanicca Joshua, the program’s manager. “Without the grant, we would have cut educational programming, and patients wouldn’t have received much-needed support we’ve traditionally been able to provide.”
The Annual Fund helped the program avert disaster, representing a lesson learned about the value of philanthropy.