Child Life Discover

2016 Issue 4
In this issue
Quick links
Connect with us!
Like us on Facebook   Find us on Pinterest   Follow us on Twitter

Cirque Delights Patients and Families

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department partnered with the Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation again this year to feature Cirque Du Soleil’s performance of “Kurios:  Cabinet of Curiosities” on November 13th. Earlier in the month, some of the show’s star performers came for a special hospital visit for our patients and families.  Showcasing their specialized talents, these generous performers entertained our audience of patients and families in the Child Life Zone before appearing on a live KidZone TV show which was broadcasted throughout pediatrics.  The visit sparked the awe and imagination of children, adolescents, and adults alike. Diane Rode, Director of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, summed up the joy generated by the visit and highlighted this year’s special connection between the Cirque Du Soleil and the Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation.  “The artists of the Cirque Du Soleil truly lifted the spirits of our hospitalized children and families during their dynamic visit to Kravis Children’s Hospital!  The Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation Benefit at Cirque Du Soleil's performance of Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities under the big top on November 13th  generously funds Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Programming for our most seriously ill pediatric patients”.   This year’s CCF event also included a “Pop-up KidZone TV Studio” where benefit ticket holders recorded and sent messages of hope and positivity from under the big top to our hospitalized patients and families.

Cirque Performers visit the Child Life Zone and KidZoneTV hosts a Pop-Up Studio at Kurios


Spotlight on StoryCorps

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department has valued its rich relationship with the StoryCorps Legacy Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to "collecting, sharing, and preserving of people’s stories" through audio recorded interviews, that are later archived in the United States Library of Congress and sometimes shared on National Public Radio. Over that past several years, many patients and families have had the opportunity to record and preserve their stories about special memories and moments with loved ones. Recently, our department has deepened our relationship with StoryCorps by creating a new StoryCorps internship position to help us bring this opportunity to more patients and families. Our StoryCorps intern and several of our own staff members are trained to facilitate these interviews in the hospital, whether it be at the bedside or in another private space. Families have shared how empowered and grateful they are to have the opportunity to share their story and connect in a powerful way with each other. Click here to hear a recorded story of one our pediatric patients. To learn more about StoryCorps and how you can participate in a recording please contact Lauren Smith at 212-241-8914 or 

Stories can be recorded in your room or the Child Life Zone.


All About SURGE

SURGE:  The Zone’s Teen Art and Literary Magazine is a 38 page labor of love and creativity that includes original poems, stories, art and photography from teen voices within and beyond the hospital walls. Molly Haas-Hooven, the Writopia Lab Creative Writing Specialist, brings creative writing to patients’ bedsides, collecting teen writing to include in the biannually published magazine. Meanwhile Art Therapists, Lauren Smith and Jaclyn Damiano work with patients to encourage submissions. Outside of the hospital, teen artists and writers from Writopia Lab and the greater community are welcome to also submit their work. Together, these talented young writers and artists express their struggles, joys, friendships, and fears through story and poetry, paint and photography. Below is a one-of-a-kind piece from our newest edition and the full work can be found here.

Page 31 and 32 from the latest issue of SURGE.


Special Events Corner

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department continues to be busy with special events, and we have kept our momentum going this fall season. Over the past 3 months, we have welcomed everyone from Daredevil’s Charlie Cox to The Amazing Max, celebrity magician. Other special events included out first annual KZTV Fashion Week, Sammy Voit – Food Network Kids Star, Christine Bower’s amazing cookies, members of the US National Olympic Track and Field Team and the North American Soccer League, and we once again welcomed Honor, our Therapy Horse companion from Miniature Horse Heroes. Each event brings a unique and memorable experience for our patients and families -- the pictures below are evidence that a great time is always had by all.

Special events in Child Life


Staff Accomplishments and Updates

Diane Rode, Director of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, facilitated an intensive training at the Annual Child Life Director’s Conference in Scottsdale, AZ on Clinical Supervision and Reflective Practice for Child Life Directors and Managers from across the country.

Sarah Yazdian, Child Life Specialist and Art Therapist, co-facilitated an art based self care group for geriatric and palliative care fellows with Pall Care MD and NP.

Todd O’Connor, Music Therapist, presented at the American Music Therapy Association conference. The presentation was entitled: Holding the Medical Space: Integrating Technology into Pediatric Medical Music Therapy Practice.

Tori Zucker
, Child Life Specialist and Luis Borges, Technology Coordinator, were selected to present at the national Child Life conference next year in Las Vegas. Their presentation is entitled “How do I do that? Creating your own iBook”.

Gabriela Ortiz, Music Therapist, was also selected to present at the national Child Life Conference on her research study about the impact of Music Therapy and Child Life in the Emergency Department during IV placements. 

Lauren Smith
, Art Therapist, Child Life Specialist and KZTV Producer also was selected to present at the national Child Life Conference next year in Las Vegas. Her presentation is entitled, "Two Brothers, One Heart: Bridging a Community of Care from Home to Hospital

Abby Klock
and Jennifer Reeves, Child Life Specialists, were both recently promoted to Child Life Specialist II. Congratulations!

Check us out on Facebook to learn about more recent happenings.


The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department
Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai
One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1153
New York, NY 10029