Fantastic Friends with Volunteer, Dietician, & Mother: Bonnie Sullivan
Good friends are nothing short of FANTASTIC at GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit! Every first Friday of the month, participants ages 18 years and up gather for our Fantastic Friends program. The intention behind this program is to provide opportunities for adults with Down syndrome to take ownership in their time at the Playhouse; to do what THEY want to do, mixed with purposeful activities geared to enhance their independence and quality of life.
Fantastic Friends always begins with an ice breaker and time allotted for group members to catch up with one another. Socializing with peers is an important skill, and one that requires a little more effort when we’re no longer in school.
After chatting, we start to make the snack we agreed on at our last meeting. Some of the delicious treats participants have made include homemade guacamole, chickpea salad, “Cowboy Caviar”, ice cream sandwiches, and personal pizzas. Preparing food together involves practicing useful kitchen skills, like reading recipes, using measuring equipment, handling tools safely and effectively, and remembering good hygiene.
After all the dishes are clean and groceries put away, the group comes together to plan their snack and activities for the next month. We discuss nutritious options, budgeting and ingredients, the equipment required to make the food, and what groceries should be purchased.
Not only are the friends fantastic, but the Program Leaders and Assistants are as well! Tamara Fobare and Carol Schindler have facilitated this group for some time now and they consistently bring the good vibes and appropriate support in all the best ways. This past summer we also had Bonnie Sullivan volunteering, which was an incredible asset in introducing delicious, accessible, and nutritional snacks each month. Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, with a degree in Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention from Oakland University, who also happens to have a 3 year-old with Down syndrome! We are so grateful to have her!