Mrs. America visits GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park!

Mrs. America, Nicole La Ha Zwiercan, reading her book “My Sister is Just Like You and Me”

On August 5th, we had a very exciting Leaps & Bounds Program with special guest Mrs. America, Nicole La Ha Zwiercan!

Leaps & Bounds is a play-based program for children ages 3-7 that focuses on success in preschool and kindergarten. Children participate in fun and engaging activities that provide opportunities for following routines, small group participation, movement and interaction with their environment. Our volunteer leaders, Barb Luby and Laurel Kasang, asked Mrs. America to join and read her book, “My Sister is Just Like You and Me”.

The book was written from the perspective of Nicole’s son, Cristiano, about his sister Ashlynn who was born with Cerebral Palsy. The story celebrates inclusivity and acceptance; that even though someone may look different or have different physical abilities, we still have a lot in common. It’s a very beautiful message and we appreciated the reading from the author herself! At GiGi’s Playhouse, our mission is to send a global message of acceptance for all. We were honored to host Nicole La Ha Zwiercan as an accessibility advocate and role model from our community. Please read more about Nicole and her impact on her website:

We also did a freeze dance and decorated hearts that read “I love my family!”. A big thank you to Nicole, her family who also joined us for this event, and all our participants and volunteers! Our Leaps & Bounds program is so important for fostering learning in our participants and preparing them to be successful in school. This was also just a great opportunity to have fun!

Dance party!

Recent Posts


Meet Bianca De Rango: New Operations & Outreach Coordinator

Hello! My name is Bianca, and I recently started as the Operations & Outreach Coordinator here at GiGi's Playhouse Tinley Park. I'm joining as a...

Welcome to the Family!!!

Are you a new parent? Are you expecting a child with Down syndrome? Congratulations! We are so happy you are here and we want to...

World Down Syndrome Day Carnival

World Down Syndrome Day is right the corner!!! We celebrate this day, March 21st..3/21... to represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome that creates...

Leave a Comment