We offer the GiGi's One-on-One Literacy Program three times per year:
- Spring session: January - May
- Summer session: June - August
- Fall session: September - December
If your local Playhouse offers Literacy, please apply through them. If your local Playhouse is not offering the Literacy program, please apply through GiGi's Virtual Playhouse.
The GiGi's Playhouse 1:1 Literacy Tutoring Program uses a methodology with documented success based on research by professionals in the field. The ability to read opens doors for individuals with Down syndrome in the workplace, schools and the community. Developing reading skills also leads to improvements in speech and language development, auditory perceptual skills and working memory function. Our goal is to foster a love for reading and provide an opportunity to develop and master skills, all while building a positive relationship with our volunteer tutors. Trained tutors work at the level of the child, continually challenging and encouraging him/her to reach their Best of All. Students can start in our program as early as age 3 or any year after that. It's never too late to start! Weekly lessons last 45-60 minutes for 10-15 weeks at a time. Family members attend each tutoring session and leave with practical activities to continue the learning at home.
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
- Greater independence and autonomy
- Greater inclusion in general education classrooms
- More active role in schools and community
- Broader communication and speech abilities
- Greater social interaction and friendships
- Accelerated articulation development
The Principles of our GiGi’s Literacy Tutoring Program are to:
- Teach using materials that are meaningful and relevant to the student to maximize interest.
- Teach with a multi-sensory approach to build confidence and reinforce learning.
- Teach students to practice, transfer and generalize newly learned skills.
- Teach students to comprehend and use information gained from reading to apply to their real-world experiences.
Books and tutoring resources are customized to each student’s interest and abilities and are built based on the ways in which individuals with Down syndrome learn best. We begin at a student’s current ability and build from that point. Purposeful progressions lead to an increase of skills and self-confidence. Literacy materials are available to take home for reinforcement and practice in between lessons.
Program Reference Materials:
- Patricia Oelwein, Teaching Reading to Individuals with Down Syndrome
- Sue Buckley, Director of Science and Research, Down Syndrome Education International
- Research from the National Reading Panel, Teaching Children to Read
- Orton-Gillingham instructional teaching approach through Raising Robust Readers
- Reading A-Z