A place for kids to learn, explore, and create

Story corner

While the expansion of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford will enhance its world-class programs in medical care, it also includes unique features designed to inspire learning and stimulate young imaginations.

Located on the ground-floor lobby of the new building, the Story Corner includes shelves loaded with books for all ages and soft, comfortable spots to sit and read, just a like a traditional library. But its programs and amenities aim to ensure that young patients and their families have opportunities to make new friends, find strength in shared experiences, and explore their creativity.

“The Story Corner space is designed to be flexible where we can facilitate live broadcasts or set up a space for storytime,” said Susan Kinnebrew, director of Child Life and Creative Arts. “It’s a resource that extends far beyond its physical space to let us offer diverse programs that can make a real difference to our young patients.”

That space features an interactive wall that uses digital technology to display images that kids can manipulate by moving their hands and bodies. The wall’s visual elements include scenes that reflect the hospital’s environmental themes: Viewers can use binoculars to examine a lighthouse, move their shadow to cause a foghorn to blare, and watch fish scramble as they get fed.

Sophie's Corner

An adjacent broadcast and music therapy studio called Sophie’s Place provides equipment and space for budding musicians and storytellers to create and share content through the hospital-wide broadcast system. The studio also will be used to treat sick children and their families through music therapy. The studio is a gift from NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and his wife Barb through their Forever Young Foundation. They have introduced Sophie’s Place music therapy studios in pediatric hospitals around the country, named in honor of a family friend, a young singer-songwriter named Sophie Barton.

“The studio supports kids in exploring their emotions, working through trauma, and encouraging personal expression,” Kinnebrew said, adding that the hospital’s music therapists will provide instruments and instruction. Research shows that music therapy allows opportunities for choice and control, as well as diversion and entertainment, and addresses the developmental, social, and emotional needs of young patients. Research also has shown that just listening to music can help improve the psychological and physical well-being of patients, reducing stress and perceptions of pain.

Since all patient rooms have a bedside iPad and television, bed-bound patients will be able to take part in scheduled story-telling sessions and group activities like Bingo. The hospital entertainment network and digital signage will post updates on events and classes at the Story Corner.

The space is linked to the Family Resource Center, which serves as a lounge, health library, and business center with access to health information, computers, and other devices for education and entertainment to help families keep up with the demands of life outside the hospital.

“Our goal is to create a safe, supportive space dedicated to helping young patients and their families learn, have fun, and socialize,” Kinnebrew said.


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