Students from Hancock, Brooks, and Taft High Schools have been spending their last 10-12 weeks working with senior citizens with Alzheimer's. The program, Memory Bridge, helps student learn about the physical and social implications of Alzheimer's then develop relationships with senior citizens at care facilities. Memory Bridge has been active in Chicago Public Schools has been active for the past five years, enabling hundreds of students to learn much about the human brain, Alzheimer's, and their own capacity to engage in meaningful relationships with senior citizens in their communities. Students come away from the experience with new outlooks on their own skills, interests, and relational abilities.
During the final visit to the senior center, students prepare a gift for their senior citizen buddy, present these mostly hand-made gifts, then sing together with the seniors. Music is a powerful source to connect people with their memories and with each other.
Many thanks to the teachers - Catherine Yackee, Lynn Santoyo, Donald Davis, and Katrina Vafakos for their extra time and effort in facilitating such an important and powerful program with their sudents.