MEMPHIS, Tenn. – All Kids Academy, an innovative program that delivers specialized schooling to hospitalized children, recently launched at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, in partnership with The University of Memphis and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
All Kids Academy will include semester-long internships to prepare students to teach infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special health and educational needs. Students from the University of Memphis child development and family studies program will gain a comprehensive view of educating young children who have special needs through onsite experience, academic courses, individual and collaborative research projects, and educational seminars provided by UTHSC, Le Bonheur and UofM faculty.
The purpose of All Kids Academy is to nurture every child's educational potential, in sickness and in health, by training University of Memphis student teachers to educate Le Bonheur patients aged birth to 5 years who are experiencing prolonged hospitalization. All Kids Academy will also provide developmental screening and referral for hospitalized patients of all ages and connect them with resources for their families.
Once the program is well established, the team plans to expand to hospitalized children in grades K-12, with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) education.
Key outcomes of All Kids Academy will include:
- Early literacy development for children beginning in infancy;
- In-hospital support of child-caregiver relationships along with community referral to early care and learning programs; and
- Graduation of future teachers, educators and healthcare providers who are well-prepared to teach and care for chronically ill children in hospital, clinic and school settings.
Experts involved in development of All Kids Academy:
- Terri Finkel, Le Bonheur/UTHSC Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Pediatrics
- Toni Whitaker, Le Bonheur/UTHSC Professor and Division Chief of Developmental Pediatrics
- Jessica Liles, Le Bonheur Director of Volunteer and Family Support
- Danielle Keeton, Le Bonheur Director of Outpatient Rehabilitation and Developmental Services
- Sandy Guntharp, UofM Assistant Clinical Professor in Child Development and Family Studies
“I am so pleased that Le Bonheur, UofM and UTHSC are working together on this innovative way to both educate our patients at Le Bonheur and ensure the next generation of teachers are well-versed in educational best practices for children with special heath needs,” said Le Bonheur Interim President/CEO and Surgeon-in-Chief Trey Eubanks, MD. “Partnerships like All Kids Academy will continue to help expand the educational landscape in our entire region.”
About Le Bonheur Children’s
Le Bonheur Children’s, based in Memphis, Tenn., provides expert care for children in more than 45 pediatric subspecialties, encompassing robust community programs, a pediatric research institute and regional outpatient centers in Jackson, Tenn., Tupelo, Miss., and Jonesboro, Ark. Le Bonheur also features a 255-bed hospital in Memphis and a 21-bed satellite hospital within Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tenn. As the primary pediatric teaching affiliate for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur trains more than 350 pediatricians and specialists each year. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur has been named a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital for 12 consecutive years and is a Magnet-designated facility, the ultimate credential for high-quality patient care and nursing excellence.
About The University of Memphis
The University of Memphis (UofM) is a comprehensive, internationally recognized, urban public research university preparing students for success in a diverse, innovative, global environment. Student success, service, innovation, diversity and inclusion, collaboration and accountability are core values at the University of Memphis. The University is classified as “Carnegie R1” or "Doctoral: Very High Research Activity and Community Engaged" per the Carnegie Classification for Institutions of Higher Learning. With a focus on research and service benefitting communities locally and across the globe, we are home to nationally designated centers of excellence in cybersecurity research and education, transportation workforce development, mobile health data and five Tennessee centers of research excellence. The UofM is dedicated to providing the highest quality of education to a diverse student body that includes members who are of all ages, racial and ethnic heritages and economic backgrounds (including a significant proportion of students who are Pell-eligible), as well as veterans and first-generation college students.
Academic degree programs at the undergraduate, masters, doctoral and professional levels as well as certificate programs are offered on the main campus in Memphis, the Lambuth campus in Jackson, and through UofM Global. The UofM awards approximately 4,700 degrees and certificates annually. Talented and innovative faculty have developed both undergraduate and graduate programs that are ranked in the top 25 nationally. Our metropolitan setting has enabled us to build a nationally recognized internship program that facilitates the placement of undergraduate and graduate students throughout the community in nonprofit and for-profit organizations that specialize in healthcare, government, transportation and logistics, music and entertainment, medical devices, banking and the arts.
About The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
As Tennessee’s only public, statewide, academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health through education, research, scientific discovery, clinical care, and public service, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region. The main campus in Memphis includes six colleges: Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains medicine, pharmacy, and/or health professions students, as well as medical residents and fellows, at major sites in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu. you can find The University of Tennessee Health Science Center on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.