Tutoring at GiGi’s San Diego: 5 Myths and Facts

(Repost from our GiGi’s Playhouse Madison and Fargo – sister locations)

We Want You

As we jump into summer 2023 tutoring in June, we are expecting a high number of applications from our families.

Our Tutoring applications are open. Summer sessions runs from June 20 – August 28. Tutors and students will have standing sessions; same day and time each week.

Literacy Tutoring Application

Math Tutoring Application

We KNOW what you’re thinking… I cannot be a tutor, I do not have the skill set!

  • I have no experience with tutoring, am I even qualified?
  • I don’t know anything about individuals with Down syndrome.
  • Summer is so busy, I don’t even know what my plans are yet.
  • I am sure someone else will do it.

Are you ready for the good news? You CAN be a tutor and here is why.

Myth: I have no experience, am I even qualified?

Fact: Most of our Tutors have NEVER tutored before!  They just had a desire to want to help their community.  We welcome tutors ages 18+ and have had high school seniors, college students, working professionals and retirees who have ALL had incredible tutoring experiences.

Myth: I don’t know anything about people with Down syndrome.

Fact: The majority of people that come to volunteer with has never even met someone with Down syndrome before. The training and resources we provide you are robust and easy to understand.

Here’s a summary of what to expect as you train to become a tutor: 

  • Training:
    • You will receive a total of many hours of training, PRIOR to starting your tutoring session. We PROMISE you will be prepared before you start.
      • 1 hour= in-person volunteer orientation at GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego or at GiGi’s Playhouse Virtual
      • 4 hours= self-led training modules via our GiGi’s training website
      • 1.5 hours= in-person training with local staff and coordinators to make sure you know where all your resources are and to answer any additional questions you have.
  • On Boarding:
    • You will fill out on-boarding forms at volunteer orientation.
    • We will run a background check on you- all volunteers that work with participants are background checked to ensure the safety of our participants. There is no cost to you- you will receive an email and you will only need to submit a couple pieces of information. A third party conducts the check and informs us of the results.
  • Curriculum
    • We use a methodology with documented success based on research by professionals in the field.
    • Our program is built based on the ways in which individuals with Down syndrome learn best. 
    • Knowing that our participants vary greatly in their abilities and challenges in comprehensive math and literacy, we combine multiple approaches that utilize multi-sensory teaching.
    • Graduated levels of purposeful progressions lead to an increase of skills and self-confidence.
    • These methods are aligned with topics taught in the classroom, to provide a comprehensive and cohesive program. For those students no longer in school, this is crucial in helping them maintain and build their skills!
  • Technology
    • We utilize Microsoft Teams to collaborate and share resources with tutors.
    • Progress trackers in Excel are used to help tutors plan the best lesson for their student’s level and to track the progressions that are worked on.
      • You do not need to have experience with Excel or teams to be successful. It is very basic usage/data entry. Plus our team is here to cheer you on along the way!

Myth: Summer is so busy and I don’t have any idea what my plans are.

Fact: You can CHOOSE how you want to spend your time. We hear time and time again how impactful the experience is for both tutors and students. One of our favorite things about tutoring is seeing our tutors and students grow together. We see the excitement and joy that comes from each session. Do not worry if you have a summer week long vacation planned, we can work around that vacation to accommodate your schedule and the students.

The pride and excitement our students feel with increasing their skills AND forming true friendships with each other is magical. Having solid one-on-one time each week allows for a special bond to form.

Myth: I’m sure someone else will do it.

Fact:  We NEED YOU! We are 97% run and can’t offer our programming without our incredible and dedicated volunteers. We also have returning tutors from session to session!! We love this because it shows they are having a great experience.

THANK YOU for considering jumping in and trying something new. You will not regret it and will have changed for the better by the end of the session.


Thank you to GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo and Madison for sharing your Myths and Truths about tutoring to bring out the ‘Best of All’ in GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo’s volunteers and participants!

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