That’s right! Robots are attending school for children who are homebound or ill in the hospital according to a CNN article. Technology is making it easier for students to stay connected with their teachers, classmates, family and friends and hospital/medical staff. Part of this technology is donated to children to help them keep connected on behalf of a child named Graham, who was ill and passed away at the age of 8.
“He would lend other sick children his toys or act silly to make them laugh,” Morissette said. “Graham’s special spirit is what kept me going. He helped me have the energy and the strength to fight with him.”
In 1997, when he was 8 years old, Graham passed away.
Inspired by how Graham lived his life caring about others, Morissette founded the nonprofit Grahamtastic Connection in his honor. The organization provides free technology — including computers, iPads, and now robots — to children battling cancer and other serious illnesses.
Since 1998, the group has helped nearly 1,500 children throughout the country stay connected to the outside world and continue their education.
We’ve been providing robots since 2012, and the robot technology is really cool.
The robots transport the child right into the classroom in real time. They can operate the robot right from their hospital bed or home. So, if a child is unable to attend school, they can simply log on to their tablet or laptop and call in to the robot.
They can walk up and down the halls. They can go to lunch with their friends. The real magic happens between classes, when they’re walking down the hallway with their friends, by robot, talking about their weekend and their favorite foods and just all the kid stuff. It connects them to their friends, their classmates, and their teachers.
It’s neat technology that really gives children the feeling of control, where their world is maybe out of control.
When Morrisette was asked why she donates technology equipment, she hopes to make the lives of the sick children better. With the latest technology available now and apps like FaceTime and Skype, kids that are ill can still be connected to their classroom and ‘attend school’ by controlling the robots right from the child’s home or hospital bed. Morrisette shared how rewarding it is to see the students interacting with the robots at lunch, recess and in the hallways during passing periods. Children no longer feel isolated or have to miss out on hanging out with their friends.
Every time I can help a child in need, I feel as though Graham is smiling down, I like to say, his angel wings fluttering. It’s really important for me to keep my son’s memory alive. Graham was such a special boy; he was just beyond his years. He always liked to help other people and do kind and thoughtful things.
He was full of love. He had a very special light inside of him; you could almost see it glowing from his heart. I believe that Graham’s love lives on in the work that I do. And I’m proud and privileged to be able to do it in his honor.