On behalf of Jane and Yamira:

Well, we made it to 2021! Here’s to hoping that this year is better than the last. We are so excited to begin the new year as Co-Presidents of GiGi’s Playhouse NYC. Frank Sawyer has transferred the torch and given us an amazing place with endless possibilities ahead of us. As we look forward to 2021, we have many dreams and aspirations in the year ahead for the Playhouse, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community, volunteers, and participants.

Our Winter programs kick off remotely on January 9th with even more special events and seminars, including Anti-Racist Book Clubs on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a self-direction seminar from an Occupational Therapist and well-respected parent in our community, a workshop series with Dr. Bonnie Keilty, Professor and Chair of the Special Education Department at Hunter College, an interview with Down Syndrome Advocate, Speaker, and Model, Grace Strobel, as well as our continued partnership with New York Cares bringing us Zumba, Teentastic Night Out, Judo and Yoga.

March will be filled with celebrations for National Down Syndrome Day, volunteer appreciation events and much, much more. As we look ahead to our Spring semester, we are hoping to be partially in person at the Playhouse again, depending on CDC and city guidelines and will ensure we follow appropriate social distancing and mask wearing protocols at the time.

Are you excited? We are!

We also made a huge impact and imprint globally through our international partnership with the Moyinoluwa Rainbow Foundation (MRF), a learning center in Nigeria that works to help individuals with Down syndrome and their families move on with their lives after a diagnosis. MRF believes that individuals with Down syndrome possess extra ability and can live life to their fullest potential. Our partnership began with a simple online conversation with Hannah Providenti (Troy’s sister) and Tola Makinde, the Executive Director and Save Down Syndrome Ambassador. We have welcomed participants from MRF to participate in LitLab and summer programs, and look forward to seeing our friends from Nigeria at more of our programming this Winter! Tola graciously led one of our Gratitude Art Committee classes in drawing the American and Nigerian flags, and we are in the process of planning more exciting ways for our organizations to collaborate and work together to achieve our common goal of global acceptance. Stay tuned.
THANK YOU, Hannah and Tola!

Many of you know Troy and Malik who have been attending programs at the Playhouse since we opened our doors in 2012 and they have been best of friends ever since.  Malik, our new GiGi’s Playhouse NYC Ambassador is thrilled to be more actively involved with GiGi’s and will no doubt take over the board in a few years. Troy voted in the 2020 Presidential election and is graduating from high school in the Spring and heading off to the next opportunity life brings him.

GiGi’s Playhouse NYC is making a difference in creating a socially just world where all individuals with Down syndrome have a voice, are accepted, and embraced in their families, schools, and communities.

Join us and come along on this amazing ride with endless opportunities.

Lastly, thank you to our NYC founders, Debbie Morris and Tracy Nixon, for entrusting us with the Playhouse and leading our community into 2021.

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Jane and Yamira

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