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Reach To Teach

Reach To Teach
CROWDRISE : Sep 23, 2016
Tax ID: 45-5504712
BASED: New Rochelle, NY, United States


Reach To Teach

Robots built with care

Wellbotics offers robotics instruction to children impacted by cancer. Premised on the idea that cancer affects entire households, not just patients, Wellbotics engages the youngest members of families facing the disease with a specialized Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) problem solving pedagogy that is tailored to address the specific intellectual and emotional needs that arise when a parent’s or sibling’s cancer and treatment.

The need

According to the American Cancer Society “children can feel all alone if a parent is sick, and they don’t know that others have the same feelings and worries that they do. It can be comforting for kids to meet others who are going through what they are”.  The Wellbotics experience promotes connection through teamwork.  Research shows that groups of children working together to solve problems create a catalyst for both increased cognition and deeper emotional connection.  Through Wellbotics teams of children meet challenges that involve designing building and programming robots.  With the guidance of a trained teacher and social worker Wellbotics participants learn to problem solve and cooperate, skills that they can apply in other areas of their lives. Skills that will help them cope with some of the difficulties faced when a family member has cancer.

The American Cancer Society also suggests that children need to understand that cancer is not their fault and that the emotions that accompany the illness can be managed.  Wellbotics groups are safe places. Through our specialized approach rooted in research from Harvard University, children come to understand that the apprehension that accompanies a family member’s cancer and treatment are normal AND that creating, learning and enjoying life despite these fears is normal too. Wellbotics supports kids by providing someone to trust with their concerns about cancer AND giving them the opportunity to supplant worry or guilt with the wonder that building designing and programming robots is known to ignite in children of the 21st century.

Finally the American Cancer Society purports that children with parents in treatment often lose interest in academics and suffer in school. Wellbotics delivers STEM content through the lens of robotics and coding which is proven to motivate otherwise disinterested students.  Out of school project based learning like robotics clubs are shown to be more engaging than the same activities in classroom settings which in turn often heightens interest and ability in the related concepts when children return to school.

How it works and whom it serves

Wellbotics offers five weekly sessions of specialized robotics instruction to children ages 5-12 at cancer support centers.  Participants are the children and siblings of cancer patients.  The Wellbotics curriculum presents weekly challenges tailored to the age, grade and ability of each group of children. Using fiction and nonfiction texts, Lego robot kits and MIT programming software children explore real world challenges faced by robots and robotic engineers and then face the challenge of building, designing, and programming working robots of their own.

Wellbotics takes a highly individualized approach to supportive service. Each Wellbotics session is staffed with one social worker and one teacher for up to ten students. The adult staff serve to facilitate intellectual growth and to meet the emotional needs of children facing a family cancer diagnosis.  Wellbotics also recruits two youth volunteers from ages 13 to 18 for each Wellbotics session.  These young humanitarians, who also have a family member with cancer, learn about robotics, solve problems, and overcome challenges with peers like our 5-12 year old participants.  In addition, our junior volunteers practice empathy when dealing with the younger participants, an important skill set especially for adolescents who have a parent or sibling with cancer.


Dr. Pamela Davis is well prepared to develop and manage Wellbotics as well as establish the necessary networks as the program expands.  With a doctorate degree in Instructional Media and Technology from Columbia University and over 20 years as a school technology teacher Dr. Davis is a proven expert in delivering and developing STEM learning environments for children and adults.  Currently she trains teachers to integrate coding robotics and 1:1 devices into new and existing curriculum for the NASA Endeavor STEM Teaching Certificate Program; and coordinates STEM afterschool programming for White Plains Youth Bureau as well as other projects.


Pam became passionate about helping children whose family members have cancer while she was living through breast cancer treatment and recovery herself.  As she spent time in cancer support centers she listened to patient’s stories and was especially moved by the stories of parents who were at a loss of how to support their young children.  When she mentioned the idea of Wellbotics children, parents, and cancer support specialists agreed that it was a great idea.  After the first Wellbotics five weeks session children, parents and cancer support specialists confirmed that the program is effective and  actively encouraged the program’s expansion.


Cancer is tremendous load for patients and their families to bear.  Both research and experience show that having an engaging activity to look forward to that is unrelated to cancer often lightens the burden of emotional and physical side effects during cancer treatment.  Wellbotics gives children something to look forward to in the troubling times that a family member’s cancer presents; lightens the load for young families dealing with cancer; increases usage of cancer centers as resources for support and has the potential to help even more with your membership on the Board of directors.



Helping Children When A Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment. (2015, April 27). Retrieved

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Tax ID: 45-5504712 •


Wellbotics: Robotics for Kids Impacted by Cancer

Wellbotics: Robotics for Kid…

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