During this season of thanks, I'm humbled and filled with deep gratitude for the enduring partnerships which form the core of Sweet Readers and resonate through every facet of our work and communities. Isolation can be a terrifying experience and this year, along with partner loneliness, it became a new common ground transcending gender, race, geography and age. The opposite of isolation is connection and that’s what we’re all about. Countless partners have come together to make our work … [Read more...]
Doris & Fred: Partners for Life!
Fred & Doris came to Sweet Readers through our wonderful partnership with Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Although they are only in their first Sweet Readers program, the joy they both bring to the programs, transcending Zoom, was effusive and I was delighted when they agreed to an interview with me - over Zoom no less! Doris and Fred have been married for 34 years (the second marriage for both) and were both middle school teachers - Doris taught Home Economics and Fred was a band … [Read more...]
Stuart & Wilma: Dancing through the Raindrops!
In 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting Shona when she enrolled her parents, Stuart and Wilma, in our programs at the Ramaz School in Manhattan. Stuart and Wilma are Scottish and have enjoyed a marathon marriage spanning nearly 60 years that has brought them from Scotland to England to Massachusetts to Manhattan. Stuart was an electrical engineer and Wilma a nurse. Shona is the quiet enabler, creating art behind the scenes while empowering her parents to engage in life to the fullest, in spite … [Read more...]
Kevin Landesman: Brunswick Facilitator
Now in its 8th year, I remember year one as if it was yesterday. one of my favorite Brunswick Sweet Readers stories was about Mary and Charlie. Mary was a reluctant resident at a local home and was struggling to find the value in her life. When I interviewed her for the program, she was stuck in a repetitive loop, saying, emphatically, "I can't work with kids, I can't remember a thing. I'm worthless." The more she repeated it, the more I insisted she give it a try. I wasn't able to get her … [Read more...]
Dara Cohen: The Jewish Museum Partnership
Back in May, 2011, Dara and I were invited to MoMA to a symposium centered on engaging people living with Alzheimer's in the arts. Sweet Readers has just completed its first pilot at the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) and the Jewish Museum was planning its first program to bring people living with Alzheimer's or some form of dementia into the museum after hours with their care partners to enjoy a facilitated experience with the various works. It was an exciting time and groundbreaking in many … [Read more...]
Partners: classmates, older adults & care partners.
I began Sweet Readers in the fall of 2016; Marley, a current Young Leader, integrated a group of my close friends into an after school Sweet Readers program at the New Jewish Home that met every Monday throughout the school year. I still remember my first day as a Sweet Reader. I sat anxiously in a library at the New Jewish Home, not knowing what to expect. As soon as I met my partner Alberta, my nerves were calmed. Although Alberta and I differed in many ways, what mattered in that moment … [Read more...]