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“Ben has participated at GiGi’s Playhouse Rockford since 2011. He started participating in social activities, in part, to fill a void in his life when his twin brothers departed to Grad School. His involvement quickly escalated from Dance to Teen Tastics to the Literacy program, to Teen Time and finally to GF Cookers. Although Ben has very limited speech, he has found acceptance as he attends activities with a tag-a-long parent. Observing his activities at GiGi’s has inspired us to implement similar activities at home. Following a pattern of reading by signing initiated in the Literacy Program, Ben has advanced two grade levels in reading. Self management life skills presented in Teen Time were brought home with the use of a sticker job chart. Now Ben willingly and consistently performs routine tasks as he accumulates one hundred stickers for a reward.  Currently Ben is using his reading and measuring skills to create healthy gluten free meals which are helping him maintain a healthy diet. GiGI’s has been on a journey with us helping Ben achieve his full potential. We are thankful to the donors and volunteers who have made this journey possible. We look forward to participating in future programs which will allow Ben to use his current skills while developing new ones. Thank you GiGi’s for your commitment to being a Playhouse where learning is enjoyable and sometimes tasty too! “
~With Gratitude, the Lenells


“With the help of GiGi’s Playhouse and their tutors, Sel and Shannon, Cayden made high honor roll at school. He has made some great achievements, such as:

  1. He has increased his reading level by one grade level in less than a year.
  2. He has increased his sight words by one grade level in less than a year.
  3. He is adding numbers together and writing down the answer.
  4. He is spelling words verbally and written.
  5. He loves coming to tutoring, where in the past he hated to read or do math.

I am so happy with his progress. His tutors have been awesome. They have encouraged him to meet all his goals. At this point, he has surpassed a lot of his goals, which were not expected to be met until April of next year, 2016.
~Lisa (Cayden’s mother)


“Michaela absolutely loves being a member of the Cheer Gems. Every week she counts down the days until “cheer practice.” Since being a part of this team, she has developed new friendships, learned new skills and built self-confidence. She has always had courage to take risks, and the Cheer Gems has allowed her to literally “soar” in this area as she is usually one of the Gems in the air during their routines. Her coach, Whitney Martin has done a fabulous job bringing out the best in all of the Gems, and Michaela adores her. I can’t wait to see what the Gems have in store for next season!”

~Shannon J.

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