Turning Pages: Brenda Bolla’s Magical Legacy on 1:1 Literacy at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County

Literacy Volunteer Best of All

LIteracy tutor and participant, Brenda and Charlie
Brenda and Charlie from the 1:1 Literacy program

In the realm of community service and volunteerism, there are individuals whose dedication and passion leave an indelible mark on the organizations they serve. Brenda Bolla stands as a prime example of such a steadfast advocate for educational initiatives, particularly at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County. Her pivotal role in the establishment and success of the 1:1 Literacy program underscores the transformative power of committed volunteers in shaping and enriching the lives of others.

Brenda’s journey with GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County commenced as a retired educator, having dedicated 35 years to the noble profession of teaching. A longstanding friend of the Horner family, her entry into volunteering at the playhouse was not merely coincidental but rather a natural progression of her lifelong commitment to education. Stepping through the doors of GiGi’s a year after retiring, Brenda brought with her a wealth of experience, knowledge, and an unwavering enthusiasm to contribute to the community in a meaningful way.

At the time of Brenda’s arrival, the 1:1 Literacy program at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County was still in its emerging stages, grappling with challenges that impeded its launch. While there were efforts underway to bring the program to fruition, the team encountered obstacles related to time constraints and availability, hindering progress. It was at this critical juncture that Brenda emerged as a beacon of hope and catalyst for change.

With her boundless energy and unwavering commitment, Brenda injected new life into the endeavor, galvanizing the team and revitalizing their efforts. Her dedication to the cause was palpable, as she devoted countless hours to strategizing, planning, and executing the necessary steps to bring the 1:1 Literacy program to fruition. By Spring 2024, our tutors proudly helped 14 participants ranging in age from 4 to 44.

Brenda’s impact extended far beyond the confines of program development; her genuine compassion and unwavering support created a nurturing environment where individuals of all abilities felt valued, empowered, and encouraged to thrive. Through her mentorship and guidance, volunteers and participants alike found a sense of purpose and belonging, forging meaningful connections that transcended the boundaries of age, ability, and background.

As a testament to Brenda’s tireless efforts and unwavering dedication, the tutoring program at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County not only came to fruition but flourished under her stewardship. Today, the program is preparing for Summer 2024, with hopes of increasing both the number of tutors and participants, with a Math pilot on the Fall 2024 horizon. This program serves as a testament to the transformative power of education and community engagement, empowering individuals with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities to unlock their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

In summary, Brenda Bolla made a huge difference in the 1:1 Literacy program at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County. Her dedication as a volunteer shows how much one person can influence community projects. Brenda’s commitment, love for teaching, and kindness have had a lasting impact on everyone she’s worked with. Her story reminds us that by helping others, we can create positive changes in our communities. Brenda’s legacy will continue to inspire future volunteers and educators to carry forward the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse, ensuring that her spirit of compassion and dedication lives on.

The GiGi’s Playhouse 1:1 Literacy program is offered three times per year: Spring session (Jamnuary-May), Summer session (June-August), and Fall session (September-December). For more information on becoming a tutor or a student at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County or the Virtual Playhouse, please visit our One-On-One Literacy Tutoring page to apply. No previous experience requires, as training will be provided. Questions? Please contact us by email at literacyorangecounty@gigisplayhouse.org .

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