Welcome to the Sweet Readers temporary website!
While our new site is under construction, we hope you will learn about us and Alzheimer’s and be inspired to take action and join our movement.
Please sign up below if you would like to receive an announcement when our updated site is ready. (and subscribe to our newsletter, Connections):
In Honor of Tess Gray
About Sweet Readers
Founded in 2011 and based in Manhattan, Sweet Readers is a public charity and for purpose organization that trains middle school students (who become Sweet Readers) to discover the person behind Alzheimer’s in interactive arts-based programs held in school classrooms, museums and elder care centers.
Our mission is to empower young people, through training, transformative programs and communities of support to revitalize isolated adults living with Alzheimer’s and become catalysts for change.
Milestones: Our Year End Review
We are delighted to report that 2015-16 was the fifth straight year of growth and successful impact for Sweet Readers and the individuals, families and communities at the core of our work.
The year was distinguished by our inspiring entry into Europe; the implementation of our special Exchange which engages low income students and adults from home with their caregivers; and the strengthening of our
The number of participants we served in 2015-16 was up 55% from the prior school year and up 268% from our first full school year.
And as we grew broader, we also went deeper increasing the number of hours
our participants of all generations engaged with each other.
Our dedicated and enduring community partnerships are in large part responsible for our growth. Not only have museum educators, artists, teachers, school administrators, elder care aides, staff and administrators given generously of their time, for every dollar we have expended, our community partners have collectively contributed $66.
The families in our communities have also been a vital part of our mission and growth. In addition to the vast amounts of volunteer time we have received from middle school Sweet Readers, high school Young Leaders and their friends and families, approximately 76% of 2015 funding came from community families, 23% from fees for service from community partners and 1% from Youth Service America Grants.
Perhaps best of all, as we continue to work on a broad study of our impact on both the adults and youth, our evaluations show approximately 93% of Sweet Readers surveyed felt more confident and empowered by their experiences in our programs. They are our future leaders, policy makers and providers of care.
We look forward to bringing you our full Annual Report and the inaugural Edition of Connections: The Sweet Readers Community Newsletter in the coming months, along with the relaunch of our web site!
Thank you so much for being a part of this important movement for change.
Together we are making a difference.
Karen & Sophie Young
Sweet Readers Co-Founders
Alzheimer’s Impacts Everyone!
We are so proud of our Young Leaders whose duel mission is to build Sweet Readers communities and educate the public.
In 2016 our Young Leaders released two videos: Alzheimer’s Impacts Everyone and We Build Communities.
The Leadership Council Interview Series
The Sweet Readers Leadership Council has developed an Interview Series to connect experts in the field of brain health to our communities and the general public. Their first interview, divided into seven short videos, is with renowned Harvard Scientist, Dr. Rudy Tanzi. Click through to hear Young Leader Emma Gray interview Dr. Tanzi and learn fascinating facts and tips from the expert!
Alleyn’s School Sweet Readers
In 2016 we crossed the pond to bring Sweet Readers to the UK with an Alleyn’s Sweet Readers pilot at Castlebar Care Home. Our US Goodwill Delegation was met by a brilliant and dedicated team at Alleyn’s and supported by the caring and committed team at Castlebar. We started with 6 Form 7 students and have already expanded to 44!
This community has proven that regardless of our cultural or geographic differences, we all benefit from creative human engagement, discovering the person behind the masks we all wear and impacting a person’s life for the better.
With special thanks to Sarah Burdett, Nicholas Allan, Brendan Allen, Susan Butler, Natalie Demain, Sue Duffy, Hayden Hoover, Ryan Kahn, Terry O’Connor, Andy Skinnard, Megan McDonagh, Daniele Starfield, Erin Withstandley, Alfie, Anna, Bede, Hannah, Mabel, Matthew, Anita, Athena, Joan, John, Lilo and Teresa.
Nightingale-Bamford School (NBS)/The Young Women’s Leadership School Sweet Readers
In 2016 we rolled out our model to partner an independent school with a pre-charter school to engage students from low income backgrounds and adults coming from home with their caregivers!
The dedication of our partners at NBS and TYWLS made it a heartwarming success! Over the past four years, the NBS team, and for the past two years the TYWLS community, have empowered their students to engage in Sweet Readers for a total of 143 sessions, averaging 13 hrs./student/school year.
With special thanks to Julia Anderson, Claire du Nouy, Damaris Maclean, Colleen McGeehan, Laura Vega and Fanny Zhao. NBS Partnership Length: 4 years.
Chapin Sweet Readers
By the end of the current school year, the entire middle school at Manhattan’s Chapin School will be Sweet Readers!
This community has taught us the value of bringing everyone together – board members, staff, families – to optimize the impact.
For the first two years the entire Chapin 5th grade marched over to CV Starr Adult Day and lit up the room. When that program closed, the Chapin Sweet Readers moved to 80th Street Residence where, with the supportive team there, they have become an extended part of their residents’ community and family.
The Chapin team has empowered Chapin Sweet Readers to engage in Sweet Readers on average for 13 hours/school year, for a total of 128 program sessions! In addition, Chapin served as host for our first major community event, The Memory Olympics, which in 2014 brought together hundreds of Sweet Readers from five area schools to engage in brain games.
With special thanks to Charo Beltran, Jenet Dibble, Margaret George, Trude Goodman, Lindsey Harbison, Jackie Lebau, Alma Padilla, Mary Rafferty, Clare Shanley, Jonathan Shiller and Lindsay Quinn. Partnership Length: 4 years.
Brunswick Sweet Readers
In 2016, faculty and students from Connecticut’s Brunswick School led our Goodwill Delegation to bring Sweet Readers to the UK! This wonderful community not only is fully engaged with the program in Connecticut, they have been instrumental in expanding Sweet Readers to Europe and helping us develop a scalable training model!
By the end of the current school year, Brunswick Sweet Readers, with help from 7 trained Brunswick faculty serving as SR facilitators, will have participated in a total of 126 program sessions with each Brunswick Boy engaging on average 13 hrs./school year.
With special thanks to Monica Berisso, Sarah Burdett, Anthony Fischetti, Max Kennedy, Kevin Landesman, Jim Stephens and Erin Withstandley. Partnership Length: 4 years.
Sweet Readers at the Jewish Museum
In 2016 we celebrate our 6th year partnering with the Jewish Museum! Over the course of those years the dedication of Dara Cohen and her team at the JM has made it possible for diverse communities of Sweet Readers and adults with AD to engage for a total of 195 sessions! Average annual adult participant engagement: 37 hours. Special thanks to Dara Cohen, Sonya Blesosfky and Kirstin Broussard. Partnership Length: 6 years.
Eagle Hill School Sweet Readers
In 2016 we began our 6th full school year with Special Needs students and in Connecticut with the Eagle Hill School Sweet Readers. For the past three years, Sweet Readers have met with residents at The Greens at Greenwich. Thanks to the dedication of both the Eagle Hill team and staff at The Greens, this caring community proves that people with special needs, like everyone else, regardless of their age or socioeconomics, thrive when they are empowered to impact a life for the better through creative human engagement and community support.
By the end of the current school year, 6 trained Eagle Hill Faculty serving as facilitators will have facilitated a total of 108 Sweet Readers sessions with each Eagle Hill Sweet Reader engaging on average 19 hrs./school year.
Special thanks to Patty Cantrell, Ashleigh Carlucci, Debra Graves, Dave Kates, Jeff Leonard, Beth Liebowitz, Carolyn Mullins, Maureen Nisch, Carol Puglia, Maria Scaros-Mercado and Chris Sweeney. Partnership Length: 6 years
As the Alzheimer’s epidemic marched on last year, millions of families experienced the isolation, confusion and exhaustion of this progressively devastating disease.
The growing global annual cost of care surpassed $818 billion with nearly 47 million people in the world diagnosed with some form of AD.
With numbers escalating with the aging of the baby boom generation, and even with scientists beginning to see some light at the end of a still long tunnel, the prospects for those 47 million people and the millions who are soon to join their ranks are tainted by insufficient effective programming, a lack of sorely needed professional care and an inadequate number of hospital beds to serve their needs.
This vulnerable and often voiceless population needs our help!
Help Underserved Youth Revitalize Isolated Older Adults Living with Alzheimer’s
To donate by mail, please see below.
Our community-based model is self-sustaining within three years, but we need your help to grow!
For every $1 you donate, our partners will donate $3!
Sweet Readers is a 501(c)3 and your donation is 100% tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Here’s what your support will accomplish:
To donate by mail, please make your check payable to:
Sweet Readers, Inc.
and mail to:
Sweet Readers, Inc.
115 East 92nd Street #9D
New York, New York 10128