GiGi’s Playhouse- Inspiring our communities, one individual at a time

GiGi’s Playhouse- Inspiring our communities, one individual at a time

Two years ago, I did not have a personal connection to Down syndrome. 2 years ago I sent in an email to see if I could help. I picked up my camera and went to visit the brand new GiGi’s Playhouse-Syracuse to take pictures at their Open Play. I watched, I soaked in this amazing community and I asked questions. Stereotypes were shattered.

I got in my car and wept. I was changed. I know that phrase is used a lot, but I mean it from the most sincere place. I am changed. I have been taught what it means to not give up, to fight and work hard for my goals, I am inspired and challenged weekly by my friends who are leading the way for us all. I have gained more than I could ever give back.

Two years ago I had no personal connection, today I thank God everyday that my world is bigger and filled with friends who I will spend the rest of my life advocating for and learning from. xoxo

heather rodrigues

-Heather Rodriguez, Volunteer and Board Member for GiGi’s Playhouse- Syracuse

Down syndrome Awareness month

Down syndrome Awareness month

Tomorrow marks the start  Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Throughout the month of October and continuing through the rest of the year, GiGi’s Playhouse celebrates the Down syndrome by recognizing the potential that children and adults with Ds have. Through innovative and goal-oriented programs, offered at no cost to our families, GiGi’s Playhouse motivates our kids andContinue Reading

Here’s a sneak peak……

Here’s a sneak peak……

Hugs+Mugs has been busy preparing for Gigi Fest – All of our mentors and interns have been spending their time making and packaging our V-21 Cookies and testing our G-21 Gluten free version – working hard to guarantee a Gigi Fest debut.  But whats really been keeping us busy are our brand new items.  Continue Reading

Be The Change : A Message from Nancy

Be The Change : A Message from Nancy

Hello All! October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and is another chance to spread awareness, advocacy and inclusion throughout the community! At GiGi’s we celebrate individuals with Down syndrome and make people aware of their abilities and accomplishments everyday! But it is hard to celebrate when our friends with disabilities are being disrespected or even worse, bulliedContinue Reading

Karate Kickers working toward their Best Of All!

Karate Kickers working toward their Best Of All!

This past weekend, three of our teens from our GiGi’s Playhouse Rockford’s Karate Kickers class went to the 5th Annual Midwest Youth Programs Karate Invitational.  Nate, Dylan and Adam competed on September 7th and have made us so proud! The benefits of karate for people with Down syndrome are endless. Karate focuses on development of balance, coordination, discipline, focus, attention,Continue Reading

Our Staff keeps growing…..

Our Staff keeps growing…..

We had quite a week at the Playhouse and Hugs+Mugs.  The third class of GiGi U graduated Thursday evening. Hugs+Mugs mentors, Tim, Nicole, Kiera, Patrick, Brian and Christine, were on hand to show their support for the graduating class. Our Mentors remember how nervous they were when they were standing on the same stage justContinue Reading

GiGi Prep | Achievement of a whole new kind!

GiGi Prep | Achievement of a whole new kind!

GiGi Prep is a 6-week program for adults, which guides adults with Ds toward healthy lifestyle choices and goal setting. As the students strive to reach their highest potential, they prepare for future participation in GiGi University. Ramsan came to GiGi Prep last fall and ever since he walked through those doors he has hadContinue Reading

Paying it Forward -

Paying it Forward -

GiGi University student Aubrey and Hugs + Mugs intern Brian accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Joined by GiGi’s team members Sarah Rickaby and Jayne Drew, the foursome were caught on video paying it forward. The participants not only challenged some of their friends, but also two of GiGi’s other 16 playhouse Locations. Will GiGi’s PlayhouseContinue Reading