GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center receives $6,500 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center receives $6,500 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center has received a $6,500 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity to fund the development and implementation of GiGiCREATE, a FREE pottery and ceramics program to help kids with Down syndrome develop and strengthen lifelong skills both physically and mentally. The expansion of current art offerings in GiGi’s Studio will incorporate modalities that are more accessible to kids and teens and will allow us to serve 215% more participants.

GiGi’s Playhouse is a nonprofit organization serving individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community in Central Iowa that provides FREE life-changing therapeutic, educational, and career development programs for all ages. Many families are blindsided by a diagnosis of Down syndrome in pregnancy or at birth. GiGi’s programs aim to support families through their diagnosis and develop high expectations for their child with Down syndrome to achieve success in social, educational and employment opportunities in the future.

GiGiCREATE will deliver a new and exciting medium to develop and gain fine and gross motor strength. Additionally, GiGiCREATE will provide kids and teens with Down syndrome a safe and fun outlet to grow social skills, build focus, strengthen hand- eye coordination, and become confident and independent in their lives.

The sensory experiences in a pottery studio are numerous as participants experience the texture and feel of the clay, the students will be able to express what they are sensing with uninhibited enthusiasm; “It’s cold, it’s wet and squishy, and it’s so heavy!” Clay asks to be poked, pinched, twisted, and rolled and as they handle it, children will develop both fine and major motor skills and realize that they influence the clay as it responds to their manipulation

Variety- the Children’s Charity is dedicated to improving the lives of children who are at-risk, underprivileged, critically ill or living with special needs. Grant funding is provided to programs and initiatives that directly impact the well-being of children. For more information on Variety grants and programs please visit varietyiowa.com.

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