Screenshot-2023-12-29-at-11.34.09 AM

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...
ch8

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...
Jalena-2

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...
aric

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...
Lauren-and-Parker

Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren Leotti

We are incredibly fortunate to have Lauren Leotti on our team of volunteers, faithfully supporting our programs and operations as an assistant with Drama Troupe, GiGiFIT Toddler, and LMNOP, as well as tutoring individuals in Math and Literacy. Lauren brings unparalleled intelligence, patience, creativity, and warmth to her relationships with...
famiily pic 2023

Program Leader Spotlight: Meghan Zidar

At the end of this past spring, our long time and fabulous leader of GiGiFIT Toddler, Denise Hubbard, let us know she needed to take a break. Of course we were going to miss Denise, and for a short time we weren't sure what would happen with this invaluable program....
kathleen-gfac

Changing How the World Views Down Syndrome

444 Students  23 Teachers  6 Grade levels  1 School helping with 1 Mission: To Change the Way the World Views Down Syndrome.   Guest post by Kathleen Tynes Addams Elementary School in Royal Oak has been a long-time supporter of GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit. Back in 2022, Sarah, a parent from our...
open play

Acceptance and Inclusion: What Do These Words Mean, Really?

Guest post by Lauren Velez About 4 months ago, I began volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit, assisting with multiple programs such as GiGiFIT Toddler, Open Play, and more. Each time I am there, I see perfect examples of inclusion. Perhaps inclusivity can look different depending on the environment you are...
Screen Shot 2023-09-28 at 1.27.30 PM

Eleanor’s #BestofAll and a Special Program Announcement

Climb higher and higher, step after step, till you reach the top, and then WOOSH! Feel the wind in your hair and your heart skip a beat as you sail all the way to the bottom. Is there anything more exhilarating than going down a slide??? Most toddlers don’t think...
ff-better

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...
thumbnail_IMG_4057

Amina Grace Speech and Language Program: The Clinicians’ Perspective IV

From left to right: Tiffany, Jena, Aric, Alexa, Saima, Kim The GiGi’s Playhouse Amina Grace Speech and Language program provides children, youth, and adults with greatly expanded opportunities to evolve and refine their clarity of speech, word order, enunciation, and message meaning. These skills are paramount to fostering greater self-confidence,...
cc1

Having Fun and Getting Fit with Our Friends at GiGi’s Playhouse! 

If you happen to be strolling by the Playhouse on a Tuesday evening, you’ll likely hear upbeat music, notice a large group of friends having a great time, and witness some wonderful volunteers supporting participants in reaching their #BestOfAll! For one hour a week, youth and adults with Down syndrome...