In February, representatives from GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis had the wonderful opportunity to speak with several members of the University of Maryland, Master’s in Genetic Counseling Program faculty and 15 graduate students, at the medical campus in Baltimore. Ronnie, a Playhouse participant, and Debbie Lantz, GiGi’s Playhouse Outreach Chair, were invited to talk about all the Annapolis Playhouse has to offer individuals with Down syndrome and their families. The two representatives covered everything from how GiGi’s Playhouse started, the lifetime commitment to families, the free purposeful programs that are offered and how these programs address the universal challenges of Down syndrome.
Ronnie and Debbie also discussed the #Generation G campaign and illustrated the success of these programs with pictures of our participants in action. “What I found to be so special about GiGi’s Playhouse is the inclusivity of all individuals with Down syndrome, no matter what age. From before birth and into adulthood, these individuals and their families have a home in GiGi’s Playhouse and having a community like that is invaluable” shared one student.
Ronnie shared his dreams for the future and what GiGi’s means to him, providing a unique opportunity for the students to engage with someone with Down syndrome and get to know the person beyond the diagnosis. Ronnie was so excited and proud to be able to tell the students “his story.” This is what GiGi’s Playhouse is about–not just learning, but also sharing and teaching.
“As Outreach Chair with GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis, I am always looking for ways to let the medical/educational/religious/service provider communities know that we are here for their families. We have created displays with welcome packets for providers to have in their offices and are beginning to go out into the community and educate about GiGi’s Playhouse. If you know of any organizations or individuals interested in getting more information about GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis, please send them my way,” says Debbie Lantz.
Debbie Lantz – firstname.lastname@example.org