Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Catalano

Sue Catalano is one of our amazing tutors, and she has been volunteering at the playhouse for over a year! She is an amazing mother of 3, all now out of college. Sue was a teacher for 6th grade and pre-k before having a family, and now works part-time, spending her free-time enjoying yoga, golfinggoing for walks, reading, and of course tutoring at the playhouse. 

Sue’s nephew has a daughter, Samantha, with Down syndrome, so she first got introduced to GiGi’s at a buddy walk in honor of Samantha. She saw all the amazing programs the playhouse was offering. Realizing that she had more free time with her own kids out of the house, she really wanted to volunteer somewhere, and GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley seemed to just fall in her lap!  

At the time, they really needed tutors, so Sue jumped on board. It was a ton of work, but a ton of fun.  Even though she doesn’t have a special education background, she is so happy to go back to her roots in teaching.  

When asked why she tutors, Sue said, “The kids.” They are a joy to be around. Even when they aren’t having a good day, you find something they want to do. Once you are in the room together, there is so much joy and just pure fun! A challenge lately has been tutoring going virtual, but Sue has given her best of all! She has had to learn a lot, but has gotten very creative. There are so many new challenges and successes, so she is always trying new things! 

We all need a little extra help sometimes, so our free tutoring program gives parents a break from providing that helpTutors are so encouraging to each student, always celebrating them deeplySue really loves to bring her love of reading to the kids she tutors. (The most recent book she loved was Educated by Tara Westover!) 

Sue’s favorite moment from tutoring couldn’t be nailed down to just one. “Favorite moments happen any time a student gets something right and they smile. You know they did it and they know they did it. And everyone gets to celebrate them and their best of all! 

Thank you Sue for all you do!

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