Embracing Inclusion: GiGi’s and Stormonth’s Inspiring Partnership

In a world that often celebrates differences, fostering an inclusive environment is crucial. GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee has found an incredible ally in Stormonth Elementary School. Through their shared commitment to promoting acceptance and understanding, the two entities have forged a remarkable partnership, exemplifying the power of community involvement and support. Together we have intertwined the 4th-grade service learning project, #GenerationG, and the GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge event, to form a win-win partnership that showcases the power of community involvement and support.

  1. Creating an Environment for Growth:

GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee firmly believes that acceptance begins with education. Stormonth Elementary School has wholeheartedly embraced this notion by creating a service-learning collaboration. By participating in various awareness-building activities and lessons, the 4th-grade students at Stormonth have gained valuable insights into the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and those with disabilities. The partnership allows us to embrace diversity, break down barriers, and celebrate the unique abilities and strengths of every individual. This awareness experience has fostered a culture of empathy, understanding, and inclusion within the 4th grade and the entire school community.

  1. The Power of Collaboration:

The collaboration between GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee and Stormonth Elementary extends beyond the service learning project. Annually, GiGi’s puts together an Acceptance Challenge 5K run, 1-mile walk, and participants dash. This event celebrates our community and participants’ achievements, and brings together people from our community and beyond, to promote unity and support while raising the needed funds to keep our programs FREE to our community. At GiGi’s we pride ourselves in being able to offer nearly 30 different programs each year for participants of all ages. From prenatal diagnosis through adulthood we can offer families the support and tools they need to continue to grow and learn skills so that each participant can demonstrate their BEST OF ALL. Stormonth Elementary students actively participate in learning about people with Down syndrome as well as participate in their own 5K event, walking around school grounds, spreading awareness, and even participating in the fundraising itself. The enthusiasm and commitment of the staff, students, and families are a testament to the positive impact of our aligned missions and strong bonds.

  1. #GenerationG: Empowering the Next Generation

At the heart of GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee’s mission lies the #generationG movement, which aims to reshape the way society perceives and accepts individuals with Down syndrome. Stormonth Elementary students learn about what GiGi’s Playhouse does for the community and how people with Down syndrome are more like their peers than different, encouraging students to be agents of change in their community and home environments. By learning about individuals with Down syndrome, the students gain an understanding of the challenges faced by our friends. They learn to celebrate diversity, stand up against discrimination, and become true advocates for inclusion in their school and beyond. Together we can break down barriers and build meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.


GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee and Stormonth Elementary demonstrate the ripple effect of change through the power of community involvement and support. By working together, we are making a profound difference, not only in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome but in the hearts and minds of the entire community. We hope to inspire other schools, organizations, and businesses to join us in witnessing the enthusiasm and inspiration by hosting their own project. Join us today in supporting the 2023 Acceptance Challenge Event or becoming #GenerationG. Learn more about our school resources and take the pledge today or learn more by contacting Sara Van Deurzen, Operations Director at GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee at milwaukee@gigisplayhouse.org.

GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee and Stormonth Elementary’s collective efforts drive positive change and we hope to encourage more inclusive practices throughout the community. TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WAY THE WORLD VIEWS DOWN SYNDROME!

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