Fantastic Friends is a long-standing signature program offered at GiGi’s Playhouse Madison. Week to week this program offers a fun, purposeful social gathering for adults with Down syndrome, their peers, and community. This summer our Fantastic Friends group has been led by the incredible volunteer duo of Lottie and Lexi, along with some dedicated program assistants – Kian, Hailey, Amanda, and Katie.
This program has been one of our most successful to date due to the creativity in lesson planning and the support of development in social and language skills through peer-to-peer interaction.
Our group has been traveling ‘Around the World’ this summer and studying a different country, from various parts of the world each week.
We’ve learned about some of the key cultures, languages, foods, and holidays from India, Italy, Mexico, China, Senegal and the United States.
Each participant has been documenting their ‘travels’ using their own Travel Journal. Each session, we document what we would pack while traveling in each country, highlight the language and geographical location of each country, and illustrate something we did while we were there.
While traveling to Italy, our participants got to study some famous Artists and create some of their own artwork!
Another highlight for the program this summer was being welcomed at Delta Beer Lab to celebrate GiGi’s Playhouse being chosen as their Non-Profit of the Month. We were able to host our program in-person at the lab and practice some self-advocacy skills. We ate pizza, played some games, and enjoyed each other’s company.
We have been fortunate to welcome several new participants and families to the program this summer and have been amazed by the number of people we have in attendance week to week.
As an organization that is 99% volunteer run, we rely on the hard work and dedication of the passionate people that choose to volunteer with us, like the amazing Volunteer crew that helps run Fantastic Friends. We are so thankful for this group and the wonderful people that attend each week; we wouldn’t have had such a fun summer without each one of them!
We’re always looking for more enthusiastic volunteers like Lottie and Lexi who have a passion for helping others and making a positive impact in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. For more information on how you can be a part of our incredible organization, visit our volunteer information page here- https://gigisplayhouse.org/madison/volunteer/.
Cheers to a fun summer with some Fantastic Friends!