Giving Compass' Take:

• The Hechinger Report touches on various programs that help build student resilience, ranging from nonprofits that help kids continue learning during hospital stays to removing language barriers for immigrant students.

• How can programs that focus on student resilience and perseverance create better school environments?

• Read more about how the brain builds resilience. 

Ella Greene never liked math. Then the 9-year-old got bone cancer and needed to stay at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. Last November, toward the end of Ella’s year of treatment, PedsAcademy opened at the hospital, bringing virtual reality field trips, robots and math lessons that didn’t feel like school.

PedsAcademy tailors instruction to students’ specific needs, both medical and academic. Children with bone cancers, like Ella, tend to have muscle weakness and fatigue, for example. PedsAcademy teachers — faculty and students from the University of Central Florida — designed lessons to keep her active.

PedsAcademy also includes lessons in science, literacy, engineering and the humanities. Children don’t get credits from the program, but the lessons offer an enrichment opportunity to keep them engaged in their learning at a time when it’s easy to do the opposite.

Aleshia Greene, Ella’s mother, worried about her daughter’s education when she learned that she had cancer. Besides her concern that Ella would fall behind, Greene said there were many hours to fill during long days in the hospital. Through the program, Ella got to fill them with virtual trips to Egypt, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef. And she’s in the process of building a robotic version of her dog, River.

PedsAcademy is believed to be the first program of its kind, but since most children’s hospitals are affiliated with universities, and since many universities have schools of education, the ingredients for replicating the model are there.

Read the full article about student resilience at The Hechinger Report