Celebrating Small Wins: Kevin’s Tutoring Success

Participants love GiGi’s Playhouse Lancaster because it’s full of excitement, laughter, and friendships! GiGi’s is a place for hard work, celebration, and achievement.  Many participants love when the Playhouse is full of commotion, crowds of people, busy programs, and loud music. For other participants like Kevin, they feel the most at home when the Playhouse is quiet and calm, so our 1:1 literacy and math tutoring program is a great fit for him. Through this program, Kevin gets to work on his “Best of All” moments with his tutors.  

Kevin’s mom, Nancy, shares that “Kevin really loves his tutors. They are so friendly and patient and know how to work with Kevin even though he doesn’t speak when he is there. They find ways to communicate with him and make him feel proud when he is there learning! It’s such a friendly and comfortable environment at GiGi’s and so positive!” Kevin has been participating in the 1:1 tutoring program at GiGi’s Playhouse Lancaster for the past three sessions and is showing more confidence in skills related to literacy and math.  

I had the pleasure of getting to know Kevin by being his 1:1 tutor in math two sessions ago. In math, Kevin worked on reading number words and matching them to the numeral. He also worked so hard each week on writing his numbers more legibly and independently, with the goal to fade prompting. A “Best of All” moment for Kevin was when he independently wrote the number 13 by himself! His mom and I were very proud of him! 

This past session, Kevin had a new math tutor, Miss Sam. Kevin worked toward showing the difference between even and odd numbers, using Numicon shapes. By the end of his last session, Kevin’s “Best of All” moment was when he was able to identify if each number was odd or even, as well as show why each number is even or odd.” 

Kevin’s literacy tutor, Miss Brooke, shared that he always seemed excited to be at literacy tutoring! In literacy, Kevin was practicing -ee and -ay words. He could identify them in texts by pointing. Then, he and Miss Brooke spelled two-sound -ay words like “hay”, “may”, and “say”. He would often choose to spell words with magnet letters, instead of writing. A “Best of All” moment for Kevin was when he independently spelled and wrote three-sound -ay words, such as “tray” and “play”. Kevin spelled these words without prompting or the use of magnets. 

As the programs coordinator, I often check in on how tutoring sessions are going and on a typical day when I’m outside the tutoring room, I hear the voices of the participants and tutors as they are reading or counting together. I hear them cheering when they do a great job on an activity. Since Kevin does not often vocalize or make any sounds when he is at GiGi’s Playhouse Lancaster, I was surprised one afternoon when I heard roaring laughter coming from the tutoring room during session. I peeked through the window of the tutoring room to see Kevin laughing out loud, as he and Miss Sam were doing math together!   

At GiGi’s Playhouse Lancaster, we believe that working on skills related to literacy and math can be fun. Our 1:1 literacy and math tutoring program actively changes the way the world views Down syndrome! Our tutoring program is truly a place of excitement, laughter, and friendships! It is a place for hard work, celebration, and achievement! Keep up the great work Kevin! Thank you to our awesome tutors! 

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