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Caped Crusader

Each month, Central Penn Parent features a child who is doing great things. They pitch in to make a difference in their schools, places of worship and throughout their communities. They are a blessing to those around them—yet their efforts often go unrecognized. We want to thank them for a job well done! Each child receives a cape and a prize package from our sponsors.

Sarah Sandkuhler is passionate about her community and that’s music to the ears of residents at Luther Acres retirement community in Lititz.

Sarah, 17, started the Music for Their Ears program, which helps Memory Care residents of the community.

Through the program, Sarah, 17, works with residents to teach them how to use music as therapy by collecting used iPods and interviewing residents about their music preferences. She then uploads music for each resident and trains them on how to use the device.

“I created instruction sheets and tried to make it as simple as possible,” Sarah explained.

“A lot of them have never listened to music like that. It really makes it personal.”

“I enjoyed working with her. She’s a lovely girl,” said Karen Dein, a resident of Luther Acres who said she prefers a playlist filled with country music. “It’s convenient to put it on and let it go. You don’t have to change a tape or CD.”

As part of the project which she is doing for her Girl Scout Gold Award, Sarah has also conducted an Alzheimer's Awareness campaign which included a donation drive for used iPods, staffed a booth at several events and has given presentations to raise awareness, logging more than 100 volunteer hours.

“As we have worked together on the project, she has displayed a wonderful, unassuming combination of intelligence, self-confidence, and commitment to serving others,” said Mary Schreiber, therapeutic recreation manager at Luther Acres. “Her time here has translated into something most meaningful for our residents.”

In addition to making music for residents of the retirement community, Sarah, a student at Linden Hall, studies voice and viola and plays piano and flute. She’s a member of Linden Hall’s orchestra and women’s chorus and is president of the competition choir.

Sarah has also served her community through Girl Scouts, helping with the Community Chest and other projects, and was a Lititz junior borough council member.

“It was really eye-opening,” she said of her borough council experience. “All the thought that goes into the decision that run our town. It’s amazing how much you have to know about the town to make these informed decisions. Before, for me, these things just happened.”

After graduation, Sarah, the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Sandkuhler, plans to attend college majoring in neuroscience, with an eye toward earning her MD/PHD.

Andrea Ciccocioppo is editor of Central Penn Parent.

How to help

Sarah is collecting used iPods. To donate, contact her at musicfortheirears@gmail.com or visit musicandmemory.org for more information.

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