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One-on-one Literacy Tutoring

The Literacy Tutoring Program

The GiGi's Playhouse Literacy Tutoring Program uses a methodology with documented success based on the research by professionals in the field. Trained tutors work at the level of the child, continually challenging and encouraging him/her while utilizing a combination of personalized sight word and project-based approaches with commercially developed programs, books, and online resources. This literacy tutoring program includes, not only direct instruction with the child, but education for parents, school teachers, and other therapists as well.


  • Increased confidence and self-esteem
  • Enhanced fine motor development
  • Greater independence and autonomy
  • Greater inclusion in general education classrooms
  • More active role in schools and community
  • Broader communication and speech abilities
  • Greater social interaction and friendships
  • Accelerated articulation development

Fundamentals of GiGi’s Literacy Tutoring Program

  • We teach using materials that are meaningful and relevant to the student.  
  • We teach using a multi-sensory (visual, kinesthetic, auditory) and multi-modality (variety of methods) approach. 
  • We teach students to practice, transfer and generalize newly learned skills. 
  • We teach students to apply and use information gained from reading. 

Reading is Important

Reading is a vital life skill where doors, otherwise closed, in the workplace, schools and the community will open up for individuals with Down syndrome. Developing reading skills leads to improvements in speech and language development, auditory perceptual skills and working memory function. This will promote the self-confidence and self-esteem that is so important to all individuals!

Program Reference Materials:

  • Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome
    by Patricia Logan Oelwein
  • Reading and Writing for Individuals with Down Syndrome: An Overview
    by Sue Buckey

Building the Foundation

Each child learns to read and develop literacy skills at a different pace. The GiGi's Literacy Tutoring Program builds a strong foundation from the beginning and is based on the Five Components of Reading which include:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency/Articulation

It's never too late or too early to start building this foundation!

*Based on studies from the National Panel for Reading, 2000

Raising Robust Readers

Raising Robust Readers, the licensed phonics supplement to our literacy tutoring program, is a phonics-based, phonogram-specific, family-friendly reading program that uses multi-sensory teaching strategies. Raising Robust Readers goes beyond our 26 single-letter alphabet to teach the remaining 46 letter-sound combinations that make the task of decoding new words more logical and predictable.

Raising Robust Readers is researched-based and is aligned with the best practices of the National Reading Panel, the National Right to Read Foundation, the International Dyslexia Association and the National Center for Learning Disabilities. It is multi-sensory and uses Orton-Gillingham principles taught through child-centered play and family-focused activities. This program has proven results for individuals with Down syndrome and it builds on the strengths of our students. Raising Robust Readers' methods are direct, explicit, and systematic.

Reading A-Z

Reading A-Z is among the family of Learning A-Z websites providing affordable, online curriculum resources. The website has more than 2,500 downloadable books (including English, Spanish, and French versions) and thousands of teaching and learning materials.

Reading A-Z materials have found widespread use with students from a range of grade levels and with a variety of special needs within special education, remedial reading, English as a Second Language (ESL), and English Language Learner (ELL) programs.