In the spring semester of 2013, among a barrage of exams, first year medical student Yair Saperstein and undergraduate student Yosefa Schoor were inspired to help pediatric patients and their siblings everywhere. After shadowing physicians and observing how hospitals function, the two students realized that when a child is admitted, three things occur. Time freezes. Apprehension rises. Boredom ensues. There was seldom enough entertainment or resources available to keep children’s curious minds occupied.
With the mentorship and guidance of Dean Edward Burns of Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM), TEACH was thus created to fill a growing need. For Yair and Yosefa, TEACH was the solution to entertain children in hospital beds with only a television set and a motorized bed for days and weeks of hardship.
As we share our passion and ideas with other university students and hospitals, TEACH continues to grow with plans in the works for expansion at the national level.
The gains do not lie only with the children whom we teach. A milieu of helpfulness, of teaching, of giving, and of sharing radiates beyond the confines of just the volunteer teachers and the patients and siblings whom we teach. This sense of growth and of purpose extends throughout the hospitals in which we teach, and to the surrounding communities as well.