Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has announced a first-of-its-kind educational partnership within the State of Nevada to help pediatric cancer patients – and others with catastrophic conditions – advance their educational progress while receiving life-saving treatments.
The Andre Agassi Foundation For Education Learning Center is located in the same building as Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. It will provide patients with direct access to a licensed Clark County School District (CCSD) teacher. CCSD educator Jennifer Morris along with a teacher’s aide will work throughout the school year to assist patients before and after clinic appointments.
Generous funding from the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education will cover the Learning Center’s build-out, operating costs, supplies, educational software and equipment and more.
”The Learning Center is something I’ve dreamed of providing to our patients for years, but we haven’t been in a position to offer it until now,” said Annette Logan-Parker, president and CEO, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. “Thankfully, some inspired individuals and groups have stepped forward to help us make this happen.”
Through its support of the Learning Center, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education continues its mission to improve the lives of underserved youth by providing educational opportunities.
“Cure 4 The Kids Foundation does an amazing job of caring for kids with pediatric cancer and other long-term illnesses,” said Julie Pippenger, COO, Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. “The move to add an educational and resource component to their list of priorities while caring for these young patients is just another example of the level of commitment and compassion Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has for these children and their families. The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education is proud to be a founding partner and supporter of the Learning Center.”
As a CCSD educator, Morris will have access to CCSD curriculum and teaching materials and will offer a full range of educational and support services for Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patients and their families. All educational assistance offered during the Learning Center’s first semester will be provided virtually in recognition of COVID-19 guidelines. Even with those safeguards, Morris will provide virtual one-on-one tutoring, interactive lessons and activities, parental and patient support for the Canvas educational delivery program, and other general education needs.
“At a time when our children are facing so many challenges and hardships in their lives, their schooling shouldn’t be one of them,” said Jennifer Morris, CCSD educator. “Our goal in the Learning Center is to offer our students a balance of educational activities, supports, and a lot of fun so that when they are ready to resume their regular schooling, the transition is smooth and successful.”
Patients will schedule sessions in the Learning Center before or after their clinic visits, as well as during frequent chemotherapy infusions, which can take hours to complete. The Clark County School District is covering the cost of Morris’ salary during the school year.
“This learning center is an important step to ensure normalcy in the lives of our courageous children by providing them and their parents with access to an educator and other resources to assist with their specific education needs,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara, “CCSD is proud to partner with Cure 4 The Kids Foundation to support our brave students and their families going through this particularly challenging time.”
One of the principal advocates of the Learning Center is Ellen Bordinhao, a retired teacher who spent 33 years with CCSD. Her daughter, Janie, was a Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patient and a teacher, who dreamed of having a position where she could work with children battling cancer. Through her daughter’s 20-month medical journey, Ellen saw firsthand the difficulty families faced addressing their child’s educational needs while also battling a devastating disease. Sadly, Janie passed away on January 15, 2019, but Ellen and her family are determined to have Janie’s legacy live on and benefit other patients. In honor of Janie, a portion of the Learning Center is named Janie’s Classroom.
“Our family is so grateful for the medical care Janie received at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation,” said Ellen Bordinhao. “It’s my job to pay it forward in memory of my beautiful daughter. I am honored to be doing this work.”
The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education Learning Center is a vital benefit for children undergoing treatment for cancer and other long-term conditions. Pediatric patients are unable to attend class while in treatment because their immune systems are compromised, and a typical classroom environment could be life-threatening. As a result, patients often fall behind in their educational studies during the months and years of treatment.