From Children’s National Medical Center

The art therapists from Children’s National Medical Center are very excited to be a part of the new Tracy’s Kids blog and hope to share some of the very special things that happen here every single day!

The Tracy’s Kids program at the main campus of CNMC is very lucky to have four master’s level art therapists – two full-time, one part-time, and one Summer position.  As we are fortunate enough to have this many therapists, we are able to provide art therapy services to inpatients, outpatients and their families in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders six days a week.

The mainstay of our services is the art therapy room (pictured below), a very popular place for patients and siblings to visit during their time at the hospital.  After finishing a new artwork, children and adolescents often request that their piece be displayed.   As a result, every available surface in the art therapy room is decorated with unique artwork.  When patients and family members return days, weeks or even months later, they are excited and touched to see that their artwork still has a place of honor in the art therapy room.  Just yesterday, a mother commented about how happy she was to see her son’s artwork still displayed prominently, nearly a year after his bone marrow transplant.

Art Therapy Room

 

The art not only provides the patients and families with a unique way to express themselves but also helps us to make a beautiful and welcoming space in the art

therapy room!  Displaying their creations in the art therapy room gives patients and siblings a sense of belonging and ownership in the hospital, and creates a sense of lasting connection with the staff members who supported them through their treatment.

Summer Art Workshops 2012

Tracy’s Kids participants are invited to attend a Summer Art Workshop series at the Lombardi Center at Georgetown University Hospital. We are planning three workshops, August 3, 10 and 17 from noon to 3 pm.

The workshops will explore the theme of Transitions: the transition between life in the clinic and hospital and “real life,” the transition from one grade in school to another, etc. The patient in your family might be off-treatment, nearing the end of treatment, or at a point where they feel well enough to think about the challenges of being both a patient and a normal kid.

The program is designed to support both patients, in the challenges from their perspective and siblings, with their perspective on what their medical condition means to the whole family. The workshops will be led by art therapist Tracy Councill and Kate Martin, Georgetown Art Therapists, with assistance from college and high school student summer volunteers. We will explore art, story, music and creativity, and have a great time together.

The art area in clinic will be our home-base, but we will spend most of our time together outside on the Podium level of Lombardi. The area up there is covered, so it is not too hot and we can stay dry if it rains. Do bring a bottle of water and a snack if you want!

Kids can attend as many sessions as they like, but please let us know which dates you plan to attend. If we get enough kids around the same age, we may be able to offer different tracks—one for younger and one for older kids. We will get back to you with the details if anything changes.
Call or email Tracy’s Kids Program Director, Tracy Councill, with questions or to register: 202-444-7599 or tracy@tracyskids.org.

Summer Carnival

Today was one of the best days of the year for the patients and families we work with at Georgetown. Hope for Henry (www.hopeforhenry.org), a local nonprofit whose mission is to bring smiles to the faces of kids in the hospital, brought its annual Summer Carnival to the Lombardi Cancer Center. Tracy’s Kids sponsored the Carnival—and later in the month we will again join forces for the second annual Summer Carnival at Children’s National Medical Center across town. The smiles on the kids’ faces tell the whole story of a day filled with amazing fun and surprises. Enjoy!

In other news, Friday begins our annual Summer Art Workshop series, described below. Patients in any of our four Washington, DC area programs are invited to join us for creative fun starting this Friday, August 3. Please email Tracy (tracy@tracyskids.org) if you can come.