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Myths & Truths About Down Syndrome

There are lots of popular myths about individuals with Down syndrome that are problematic for many reasons, most of which are related to not seeing their full humanity. Don't worry, we're here to debunk those myths, and we hope you'll help us spread the word! The list below was put...
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Little Hearts… Big Impact

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change” – Tim Cook. It’s no secret that the success of GiGi's Playhouse Detroit is primarily because of the hard work and dedication of our fabulous volunteers. For many, their efforts don’t stop when they leave...
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Volunteer Spotlight: Joelle Stempnik

Guest Blogger: Elie Kim, volunteer and sister of participant - age 16 It is our great honor to interview Joelle Stempnik, who recently joined our team as a program volunteer and tutor with GiGi's Playhouse Detroit. Joelle is a junior at Wayne State University and plans to get her Masters...
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What does GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit Mean to You?

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! We want to let you all know how truly wonderful you are. How loved you are. How cherished and appreciated you are. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for making such a huge impact on not only our Playhouse but our participants, families...
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Common Myths About Being A Tutor 

Myth: "I need teaching experience to be a good tutor".   Fact: The greatest quality one needs to tutor effectively is a willingness to learn and try. Most of our tutors have other backgrounds like engineering, med school students, high school students, psychology etc.   We provide lots of training, both at the...
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Volunteer Appreciation Award 

There are many elements that go into a successful program: research-based instruction, multi-sensory approaches, individualized adaptations, and one of the most important ingredients: love for our participants. It is plain to see the love our volunteers have for the participants in each program. So many of them come early, stay...
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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Axelle Ballarin 

Guest Blogger: Elie Kim, sister of one of our participants and young volunteer for our playhouse- age 16 Axelle Ballarin is an astounding GiGi's volunteer. As she has volunteered at GiGi's for almost a few years, Axelle has made a huge impact on the community through her love and enthusiasm...
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The Royal Oak Community Starts Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day Early! 

If you or a loved one have participated in Kids Club, Art Explosion, Fantastic Friends, or attended one of our fundraisers, you’ve probably met our amazing volunteer Tamara. She is a co-leader for all of those programs and helps out with many others when possible. She and her family have...
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Literacy Tutoring and Kendyl’s Best of All

“What I love most about reading: It gives you the ability to reach higher ground. And keep climbing.” ― Oprah Winfrey Like everyone in the world, the ability to read opens doors for individuals with Down syndrome in all areas of life - including but not limited to - the...
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Caring Hands ~ Blanket Making Event with WSU

Over the years GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit and Wayne State University have partnered in many impactful ways: through grad students leading our Amina Grace Speech Therapy Program, pre-med students assisting with group programs and tutoring, and most recently, a community service group called Caring Hands reached out to us with an...
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Volunteer Spotlight: Jelena Verkler

Allow us to introduce you to the wonderful Jelena Verkler! Jelena began volunteering at GiGi's Playhouse Detroit in December 2022, by jumping right in with participants in Kids Club, Open Play, Drama Troupe, and as a Literacy Tutor! Jelena shows up week after week with the best attitude, and everyone...
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Spotlight on Drama Troupe & Aric’s #BestOfAll

"I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it’s like to be a human being." – Oscar Wilde.   Since we began offering Drama Troupe in 2020, the goal has always...