Volunteer Spotlight – Amanda Lane

WOW – Amanda has been a part of the GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis family for 3 years now. She is currently the program leader for Playhouse Pals and Kids Club, a Saturday class for ages 5 to 12 years that supports the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. Amanda incorporates engaging activities that improve fine-motor and self-help skills. We are so grateful for Amanda and all of her hard work!

Do you have a background in working with children or individuals with different abilities? If so, what is your background?

My background is in Education. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Special Education and my Master’s Degree in Special Education. I have taught children from Pre-K through 1st grade. I became connected with the Down syndrome community while I was completing my Master’s program. I worked as a one on one support for the sweetest girl within her home. Her family became like family to me and we are still close today!

What are your hobbies and interests?

My interests are anything Disney related, traveling to new places, and shopping at thrift shops!

How did you find out about GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis?

I saw an advertisement for an event on Instagram in 2021. I quickly went to Gigi’s website and asked for a volunteer tour!

What about the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse appeals to you, personally?

Gigi’s Playhouse’s vision of “acceptance for all” appeals to me. I love the inclusive community that Gigi’s Playhouse fosters!

How has volunteering here impacted your life?

I always tell the kiddos and families that attend Playhouse Pals and Kids Club that these are the best days of my whole month. I look forward to spending time dancing, playing, learning, and laughing with the group!

Why did you start volunteering with GiGi’s Playhouse?

I started volunteering with Gigi’s Playhouse because I found that I was missing working with children, especially children who have Down syndrome. I became a stay at home mom in 2020, which I also love- but volunteering at Gigi’s is truly a bright spot in my month. I am so grateful for the time that I spend with the kids and families there!

What is your favorite part about GiGi’s Playhouse?

My favorite part about Gigi’s Playhouse is getting to know the kids and families. Everyone is so kind and we have so much fun together!

What would you say is the biggest misconception about individuals with Down syndrome?

The biggest misconception about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are much, much different than we are. People who have Down syndrome are just like us and want to be included and accepted just as they are.

Why do you believe people with Down syndrome are an important part of our community?

People with Down syndrome are an important part of our community because they offer just as much as any other person: friendship, perseverance, humor, and a great perspective in which to see the world!

Do you have a favorite quote?

“I’m a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring “good-enoughist” – Brene Brown

Why would you tell people to volunteer with GiGi’s Playhouse? 

I would tell people to volunteer with Gigi’s Playhouse because it is SO. FUN. Whether you’re planning an event or helping out with an event- it is just so much fun to be around the community at Gigi’s Playhouse.

For our friends ages 5 to 12 years, we encourage you to join us for Amanda’s amazing class! If you are interested in volunteering as Amanda’s program assistant, please email amccain@gigisplayhouse.org.

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