Additional Support Programs

The Child Life Department offers additional programs to promote normalization and coping throughout your child’s inpatient hospital stay. You can find our Patients and Families Events calendar posted on every inpatient unit for a list of daily activities.

Our Programs

Beads of Courage®

Beads of Courage® allows children with chronic illness to tell their story utilizing colorful beads to symbolize the courage that commemorates milestones achieved along their treatment path.

Hospital School Program

Falling behind in schoolwork can create anxiety and stress for any child. Our Hospital School Program helps students continue learning throughout their stay to help ease the transition back to their home school. We believe education is valuable to every child and can be a healthy distraction during hospitalization.

How to Enroll

Please email the appropriate teacher based on your child's grade-level in school:

Steve Macellaro (Primary Grades Teacher):
Sherri Troup (Secondary Grades Teacher):

Homebound Instruction

Would you like to know if your child qualifies for Homebound Instruction? Click here to find out.

If you do not live in Pennsylvania, please contact your child’s home school for more information.

Matt's Maker Space

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Matt's Maker Space is designed to foster creativity by exploring STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). While your child is inpatient, they can engage in hands-on activities that promotes learning and creativity.

The space has been a passion project from our very own SurvivorConnect project coordinator, Noelle Conover, who started Matt's Maker Space with her family in memory of her son Matthew. Learn more about what this project means to Noelle.

Our Location

Matt's Maker Space is in the Family Resource Center on the 6th floor of UPMC Children's Hospital.

Talk with the Child Life Department to learn more.

Pet Friend Program

Research shows pet visitation programs are therapeutic because they reduce stress and anxiety caused by illness and injury. The Pet Friend program brings carefully evaluated dogs into the hospital to visit and interact with children. The program is designed to assist children in adjusting to hospitalization. Child-animal contact can vary, from a child simply watching a dog to petting, cuddling or even playing fetch and walking a dog in the hallway. Physician and parent approval is needed. See your Child Life Specialist for more information.

Special Events

*Group events are temporarily on hold.

Super Sibs Saturdays

*Program is temporarily on hold. Kits for siblings are being mailed home in the meantime.

Super Sibs Saturdays is a therapeutic-based support and social group for the siblings of children who are patients at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Super Sibs Saturdays are held every other month and typically on the second Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Lemieux Sibling Center, Floor 1, Main Lobby
Siblings ages 5 to 15 are welcome.
Snacks will be provided.

Super Sibs Saturdays is not a playgroup.

Parents must stay on the hospital campus during the support session. For questions or to RSVP, call 412-692-6364.