Bear in the Chair is designed to make sure that no child at Children’s Hospital ever feels disconnected from their school. It is crucial that they feel connected with their friends at school as well as their teachers. Being in the hospital shouldn’t hinder them from keeping those relationships.
The Bear in the Chair program will also give patients a support system to help keep their spirits up. Hopefully this will speed up the recovery process and get them back to their classroom to learn and play with their friends again.
Patients between the ages of 4-14 years old treated at Hospital in Oklahoma City for more than 10 days are eligible for the program. The program is for all elementary schools and some middle schools across the state of Oklahoma.
Children’s Hospital Foundation and Love’s Travel Stops places a 40” bear in the patient’s chair at school while he or she is in Children’s Hospital. The bear stays in their chair while they are out of the classroom. Classmates are able to take the bear to different activities throughout the day as if the patient in the hospital is right there with them. The teacher is encouraged to take pictures to send to the child’s parents so that they can put the pictures in their memory book, therefore still feel connected to school activities.
Each patient enrolled in Bear in the Chair receives a small version of the larger bear delivered to the school and a swag bag sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops.
Items included in the swag bag:
an educational piece
a plush item
an activity (ex: coloring book)
We hope that by enrolling in the program we will keep everyone connected-- patients, students, teachers, and family. They will have each other to lean on and help one another in this difficult time.