Volunteer Spotlight: Siffrin Academy!


Melarie Weaver

Hannah T.

Ryan T.

Emma S.

Erik R.

Michael T.

Stephanie S.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

  • Melarie: I am the teacher of the Siffrin Academy students. I have been married for 29 years and have 3 adult children. I have worked at Siffrin for over 6 years and have worked at the Academy for 1 year.
  • Hannah: I am 19 years old. I am from Canal Fulton Ohio. I started coming to the Academy last year. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters. I love my dog Mia.
  • Ryan: I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I go to college at Siffrin Academy at Kent State/Stark. I love going to GiGi’s and been going there for a very long time.
  • Emma: I graduated from Norton High School where I was in the choir and art class. Now I attend Siffrin Academy. I have a sister and brother-in- law.
  • Erik: I went to Glen Oak High School and after I graduated in 2020 I started Siffrin Academy. I have a job at Giant Eagle on Washington Square. I have been working there for almost 4 years.
  • Michael: I love pop. I also love my mom and my friends.
  • Stephanie: I just turned 21 and an aunt for the first time. I have been working at Giant Eagle for almost a year and have been going to college (Siffrin Academy) for over 6 months.

We want to get to know you! What are some of your favorites? (food, color, season, activity, restaurant, place to shop, etc.)

  • Melarie: I was born and raised in Hawaii so our classroom is decorated with lots of pineapple décor. I love music. I love watching the students sing, dance and enjoy their favorite songs.
  • Hannah: I love spending time with my mom and dad together, I love all healthy food and I love Blake Shelton. I love going to concerts.
  • Ryan: hot dogs, purple, Sprite
  • Emma: My sister and brother-in-law are my favorite people!! I love to do my chores and to take a walk with my mom and my dog.
  • Erik: My favorite color is blue. I love to eat at Belden Village Mall food court. Watching trains go by is one of my favorite pass times.
  • Michael: I love Dr. Pepper, cheeseburgers.
  • Stephanie: Pizza, purple, Olive Garden

How did you learn about GiGi’s and what prompted you to become a volunteer?

  • Melarie: Through Siffrin Academy and John and Missy Gibble.
  • Hannah: I have been going to GiGi’s for a long time. I am volunteering with my college class.
  • Ryan: My class volunteers but I would help out before that. I love helping the babies at GiGi’s.
  • Emma: I have been going to GiGi’s for a long time but recently I started volunteering with my class from Siffrin Academy.
  • Erik: Through Siffrin Academy.
  • Michael: I volunteer with my college class Siffrin Academy.
  • Stephanie: I volunteer with Siffrin Academy

Tell us more about what you do at the Playhouse!

  • Melarie: I assist the Academy as they help Megan with t-shirt inventory, creating birthday cards, filling celebration bags, making folders and fliers and cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Hannah: I have a reading tutor, I do fitness and a cooking class. When we volunteer we clean, we fold papers to be mailed.
  • Ryan: The TMNT came to GiGi’s for my 21st birthday. I love all the friends I meet at GiGi’s. Volunteering I take the trash out with Erik and help clean the windows.
  • Emma: Volunteering we print out copies, cleaning and disinfecting. I also do exercise and cooking.
  • Erik: I clean and take out trash. We also do inventory.
  • Michael: I volunteer at GiGi’s with my Siffrin Academy class. I also attend the cooking and exercise classes at GiGi’s during the week.
  • Stephanie: Clean, organize toys and books, Shirt inventory, fill celebration bags and make birthday cards.

What is your favorite experience you have had at the Playhouse?

  • Melarie: My favorite is watching the students master a new skill. At the end of our volunteering for that day the students are able to have fun in the main room and I love watching that too.
  • Hannah: Doing fitness there. With the Academy I like to help wit the cleaning.
  • Ryan: I really like when we make birthday cards.
  • Emma: I really enjoy having free time in the main room after we have volunteered.
  • Erik: My favorite experience is to take out the trash with my buddy Ryan.
  • Michael: Volunteering I love to vacuum. I love eating the food we make in cooking class.
  • Stephanie: I enjoyed filling the celebration bags for the new babies.

We are so grateful to our friends from Siffrin Academy who work to help make the Playhouse presentable and enjoyable for all who walk through our doors. Siffrin Academy is an educational blend of classroom study and field experience designed to help participants reinforce skills and abilities learned throughout their education career. Since GiGi’s Playhouse is one of the community sites that Siffrin works to build their skills in, we assist the participants by providing the proficiencies and mechanisms essential for success in the community and the workforce…and we are fortunate enough to have most of the group as participants in our programs, as well!

Recent Posts

July Volunteer Spotlight: Sara Dye

Hello GiGi's Playhouse Canton Community!  Today, we are thrilled to put the spotlight on one of our incredible volunteers, Sara Dye – a true gem...

Embracing Triumph: JJ’s Journey at GiGi’s Playhouse

In the vibrant tapestry of GiGi's Playhouse, each moment we share with our participants is a celebration of uniqueness, resilience, and growth. Every individual brings...

June Volunteer Spotlight: Katarina Altimore

Crafting Connections in the Kitchen: Meet Katarina Altimore, a GiGi's Playhouse Volunteer  Hey there, GiGi's Playhouse Canton community! Today, we're thrilled to shine the spotlight...

Leave a Comment