Studies have shown that 90 percent of brain development happens during a child's first five years.1 Moreover, the lack of early childhood socialization and education opportunities can cause long-term behavioral and cognitive difficulties.
In 2003, THE MORGAN CENTER© (TMC) a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization for preschool-age children battling cancer was founded in New York by the parents of a 2-year-old cancer patient named Morgan. TMC program is provided free of charge to the children and their families. Operating expenses are fully supported by private donations and fundraising.
TMC leadership is committed to developing a network of early childhood programs, similar in scope and function to THE MORGAN CENTER, in areas of need across the United States. With the support of leaders in the Central Florida pediatric cancer community, THE MORGAN CENTER created a program for preschool-age children battling cancer in Orlando Florida in the fall of 2019.
COVID-19 Impact on TMC
In March of 2020 and in response to COVID-19 restrictions, TMC developed an online preschool program. Broadcast from Orlando, TMC Virtual ClassZOOM was an immediate success, serving preschool-age children battling cancer in both NY and Central Florida. TMC professional staff quickly realized that this technology was a ‘game changer’. TMC decided to further develop its online program to provide a quality learning experience to preschool-age children receiving medical treatment while in the hospital.
TMC CLASSVROOM© Program Created in 2021, TMC CLASSSVROOM© is a virtual preschool experience for all preschool-age children receiving medical treatment while in the hospital. TMC CLASSVROOM© program is a virtual learning experience that
stimulates cognitive and social development for preschool-age children. TMC CLASSVROOM© provides online lessons, crafts, activities, and academic enrichment for preschool-age children who are in the hospital and physically unable to attend a ‘typical’ preschool program due to their medical condition.
Beginning in the Fall of 2021, the TMC CLASSVROOM© program broadcasts online from TMC classrooms on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 10:00 am - 11:00 am, following a typical public-school calendar. The children enjoy Music Mondays, letter-themed Wednesdays, and Show and Tell Fridays, along with lessons, crafts, and special activities just like a traditional preschool program.
TMC CLASSVROOM© BOXES
TMC CLASSVROOM© boxes are distributed to children’s hospitals in New York and Central Florida and contain preschool learning materials including; Playdoh, crayons, crafts, academic printouts, and supplies. Preschoolers who are inpatient use the materials to participate in the interactive lessons during TMC CLASSVROOM© classes.
THE MORGAN CENTER© is beginning the 2021 Fall semester online; broadcasting from TMC classrooms in New York and Central Florida. TMC will return to physical classes for preschool-age children battling cancer when it is medically safe to do so. TMC CLASSVROOM© program will continue to be broadcast to preschool-age children in hospitals across the United States after TMC returns to physical classes.
1. NEWSDAY, Give first 5 years more priority, D. Friedman, January, 2011