The Chapin Sweet Readers program started in 2013 and every year, with help from five trained faculty who serve as facilitators, their entire 5th grade engages with neighborhood adults who live with Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia.
By the end of the current school year, Chapin Sweet Readers will have participated in a total of 154 program sessions with each Chapin Sweet Reader engaging on average 13 hrs./school year and each adult resident engaging on average, 24 hours/school year. The Chapin Sweet Readers program became self-sustaining within three years.
Since 2015 Chapin Sweet Readers have bridged their community with the residents and dedicated staff at 80th Street Residence, creating art, sharing life experiences and enjoying the time (and snacks) together.
This community has taught us the value of bringing everyone together to optimize and expand the impact. Led by Trude Goodman, Chapin started a culture of bringing different stakeholders – board members, alumni, administrators and staff – to program sessions and allowing them to participate in the warm community surrounding the Sweet Readers and their adult partners.
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.