How Online School Benefits Students with Medical Limitations
We’ve often discussed how learning online can be helpful for students who play competitive sports, frequently travel, or are actively involved in special hobbies. But did you know it can also benefit students with medical limitations?
Take it from Indiana Connections Academy (INCA) middle school student Gracie Bennett. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor at just three years old, her schedule became packed with doctor’s appointments and surgeries. With the flexibility to learn at a time and a pace that suits her, however, Gracie has been able to receive the proper medical treatment while getting a high-quality education.
In addition to attending the frequent medical appointments that help to maintain her health, Gracie keeps busy with her annual toy drive for patients at Riley Hospital for Children, where she was first diagnosed and provided with extensive care. She took it upon herself to start her toy drive six years ago when she realized that medical bills may make it challenging for some parents to purchase gifts for their children during the holidays. Gracie is determined to achieve a big goal this year: 5,000 toys!
To learn more about Gracie and her online learning experiences at INCA, check out the Q&A below.
Q: What kind of schooling did you have before enrolling in INCA, and what made your family decide to switch to online school?
A: I went to Danville Community School. I have had three brain surgeries and two years of chemotherapy. Because of the surgeries, I have a hard time focusing, and because of medical appointments, I missed a lot of school. My immune system is low, so I missed a lot of school from being sick. At INCA, I’m able to customize my schedule around health needs so that I don’t miss school or fall behind.
Q: What do you like best about INCA so far?
A: I like being able to do my work any time of the day. If I am not feeling well, I can rest and do it later.
Q: What’s your favorite subject?
A: I love math and my teacher, Mrs. Spilker.
Q: What’s your relationship like with your teachers?
A: I really like my teachers Mrs. Spilker and Mrs. Yan. They are always in contact with me and are always willing to help me. I really enjoy all the teachers and how easy it is to reach them.
Q: Any idea what you might like to do in the future?
A: I am not sure. I love animals and thought about being a vet. Everyone tells me I could be a motivational speaker or something in entertainment—I am thinking a famous YouTuber.
Q: How can people donate to your charity?
A: Right now I am doing my annual toy drive and trying to collect 5,000 toys. I have donated 5,000 total over the past five years but wanted to go big this year! People can donate a toy by December 15 to any location listed in Indiana on my website. I have also raised $100,000 with my friend Maeci for the Maeci & Gracie Give Back Foundation.
Gracie’s mom, Stephanie, is pleased with INCA’s scheduling and supportive teachers. “I love the flexibility! The teachers are great and so willing to help Grace when she is struggling. I think the school is helping her to get some confidence back, because she isn’t constantly having to be compared to her peers,” she shares.
Gracie was nominated as a 2018 Riley Champion for her inspiring and unique toy drive. If you’re interested in making a donation, be sure to send it to a designated drop-off location by December 15. Hurry—let’s help Gracie reach her goal!