We all remember a teacher from our school days saying, “Practice makes perfect!” Like when my teacher quizzed us on our times tables every day, each week. Luckily, most of us realise that those teachers are right – every day counts, and regular practice is key to getting better.
“Every day counts. It’s not just about the big leaps, but the small steps taken each day that lead to success.”
When we think of seriously sick kids missing school, we often imagine them spending months in the hospital and then coming back to school fully recovered.
The reality is that many sick kids don’t miss long periods of school all at once. Some miss school often – a day or two every fortnight, or a few weeks here and there throughout the school year. And this continues across their entire school life. They may never be in hospital, but at home.
While these absences may seem small, they have a compounding effect. Missing just one day every fortnight can have the same negative impact on learning as missing two-thirds of a school year over a span of three years.
Research has shown that missing more than five days per school term puts students at risk. That’s why every single day at school counts, especially for students who face absences due to their illness.
Let’s take a look at Breana’s story. Breana is a student who faces regular absences from school due to living with cystic fibrosis. It’s challenging for anyone to maintain focus and dedication to learning when school attendance is sporadic and unpredictable.
Fortunately, Breana’s family reached out to MissingSchool, and years later we continue to provide a telepresence robot for connection to Breana’s classroom. This has enabled Breana to virtually join classes through the robot, alleviating her worries about missing out on lessons and important moments with her friends.
The impact on Breana’s opportunities is noteworthy. Even on the days when she can’t physically be present, she can still participate in classes and her teachers are “able to assist her with her work as if she was in the classroom”. Breana can complete classwork alongside her peers, thanks to the digital connection provided by the robot. It makes a huge difference in helping Breana stay connected and engaged in her learning journey.
Students who experience frequent absences should receive support to connect with school equivalent to those who are absent for longer periods. This ensures they have equal access to learning opportunities and can take small steps each day toward their success, just like their peers.
Indeed, every day counts.
Our connection to our community is vital, and it would be impossible for us to stay the course without your incredible support.
There are many ways to help:
- follow along and cheer us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- share this newsletter with your family, friends, or colleagues so we can reach more sick kids, and
- donate towards getting a seriously sick child back into their classroom.
Every action moves us closer to the finish line: a world where every sick child is seen and heard.
Let’s keep connecting.