HOUSTON (FOX 26) -
The back to school ads have started and now that's it's August the countdown to the big day is on. One program is making it easier for some kids to get back to the books.
Kids who miss school because of illness, for so long, would often fall behind then get held back a grade but one Houston Independent School District teacher is changing that.
We caught up with 10-year-old Demilade Deolu-Sobogun spending his last few days of summer creating a new video game but even as talented as he is, he almost had to repeat fifth grade after missing nearly the entire school year battling an illness.
”Aplastic Anemia is a disease where your bone marrow breaks down and starts attacking your red blood cells, white blood cells. All the things that keep sickness away,” the 10 year old explains.
So the super smart student was actually dreading heading back to school because he didn't want to have to stay in elementary as his friends went on to middle school.
Then this summer he was enrolled in Team TEACH. “It was amazing,” Demi smiles.
”I never thought I would be a hospital teacher,” says Donna Shanklin who has taught at HISD for nearly 30 years.
The longtime educator created Team TEACH. As part of the program, on their own time, six teachers go into hospitals, hotels and homes in the summer. The educators teach sick children who have missed school, to keep the kids from falling behind.
”They're in pain a lot of times and they push forward. They've taught me about patience. They've taught me about hope. I'm a different person from this experience,” explains Shanklin.
“They helped me so much,” adds Demi.
Thanks to Team TEACH Demi is excited about starting middle school in a few days right alongside his friends.
The program, which taught 17 kids this summer, teaches kids from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
Miss Shanklin hopes it will continue to grow. ”We want sponsors. We want support to be able to reach as many children as we can,” Shanklin smiles.
This was the second summer for Team TEACH. The program picked up sponsors this year, which actually paid for gas money for the wonderful volunteer teachers.