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First Graders Become Youngest Dementia Friends in PA

First-grade students in New Oxford became the youngest Dementia Friends in Pennsylvania.

Welcome to the 22 new Dementia Friends from the 1st grade class at New Oxford Elementary School!

With more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias and their 675,000 care partners, there is an enormous need for communities to be supportive, informed and respectful. As Director of Memory Support at Cross Keys Village at The Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, PA, Jennifer Holcomb knows this from up close. So, when she heard about Dementia Friends Pennsylvania she reached out to JHF staff, Stacie Bonenberger and Anneliese Perry – both senior quality improvement specialists at the Foundation and statewide coordinators of Dementia Friends.

Together they organized two days of information and champions training sessions in New Oxford, where Holcomb became a Dementia Friends Champion and began working to increase dementia awareness in New Oxford. Now, as the chair of the Dementia Friendly York/Adams County Initiative, she became the first in Pennsylvania to use the Dementia Friends grade-school curriculum to train and welcome the first-grade students in Mrs. Shearer's class as they became the youngest Dementia Friends in the state.

Also check out this story of the first police to become a Dementia Friend in PA.

Jennifer Holcomb reads New Oxford Elementary School 1st graders Grandpa and Lucy: A Story about Love and Dementia by written Edie Weinstein (a 9th grader from Minnesota).
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