What is Sweet Readers and how did it start?
Sweet Readers is a 501(c)3 public charity, established in New York City in 2011 by fifth grader Sophie Young, her mom Karen and her grandma Dorothy (who was living with Alzheimer’s). It started as a museum based program to empower middle school students to engage adults living with dementia and in the process, become catalysts for excellence in eldercare.
During the programs (5, 6 and 9 sessions each, held in school classrooms, eldercare centers and museums throughout the school year), students (called Sweet Readers) and their adult partners, led by an educator who facilitates, together explore and create music, art, poetry, etc. as they discover each other.
In 2015, Sweet Readers established the Leadership Council to empower high school students (Young Leaders) to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and Brain health and build more Sweet Readers Communities.
In 2019, Sweet Readers established the Leadership Council Advisory Board, comprised of Leadership Council Alumni, current college students, to help guide the growth of the Council.
Over the past 9 years, Sweet Readers’ school and after school programs have served over 40,000 participants in 3 countries, bridging over 40 communities with 22 school partners, 11 museum partners and a network of over 250 eldercare centers. To learn more about Sweet Readers, please visit us at: www.sweetreaders.org
Who started Sweet Readers Connect and Why?
Sweet Readers Connect was established in April, 2020 to address urgent need during COVID-19, by a team of Sweet Readers, Young Leaders and Leadership Council Advisors, led by the Sweet Readers, Inc. team. Funding was provided through a grant Sweet Readers received from Family Caregiver Alliance, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and The Helen Daniels Bader Fund, a Bader Philanthropy for being recognized as one of the most innovative programs in Alzheimer’s caregiving!
What should I talk about with my partner?
Check out the Top Tips & Conversation Starters!
Will there be reading?
While Sweet Readers started with Sophie reading books at her grandmother’s day program, it has evolved into reading music, art, poetry and most of all, each other. Your goal is to “read” the person! If you would like to bring short passages of your favorite poems or short stories, you may do that as well. The Sweet Readers’ method, however, is immersive and interactive. We want your partners to be actively engaged!
Can I Visit with my adult partner again?
Yes! Just set it up with the person whom you connected with for your visit. You may also reach out to us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How often are the visits?
You may schedule daily or weekly Visits with your partner.
How can I learn more about Alzheimer’s?
Click on the Alzheimer’s section in the menu.
What else can I do to help?
There are plenty of other ways you can help! Please visit the Take Action! Section