More than words: Joe Pawsey’s success transcends reading

With the help of GiGi’s Virtual Playhouse team, Joe Pawsey was able to regain his confidence and accomplish his dreams! 

At GiGi’s Playhouse, we strongly believe that education opens doors. Whether it’s at school, the workplace, or the community at large, literacy leads to inclusion. There’s no better illustration of this than a recent success story from our Virtual Playhouse. 

Joe Pawsey, a Virtual Playhouse participant, had lost his passion for reading. Like many individuals with Down syndrome, Joe had negative experiences at school that caused him to lose confidence and fall out of love with reading. 

Thankfully, Joe’s story did not end there. Joe enrolled into GiGi’s Literacy and Math Tutoring Program, and through his literacy tutors, he regained his confidence and rediscovered the joy of reading. 

The truth is, GiGi’s has made Joe love reading again,” said Catherine Pawsey, Joe’s mother. 

Through the one-on-one tutoring sessions, Joe has not only improved in literacy, but he’s also developed better speaking skills, gaining confidence in expressing himself verbally. 

“When we see Joe engaged with someone else, we are so proud of him and excited for him to be so social,” Catherine said. “His whole demeanor changes and [he] becomes more alive and more creative and more expressive. Joe becomes more his full self.” 

Beyond his own improvement, Joe’s newfound confidence has had a profound effect on those closest to him. “I have a hard time expressing how important the GiGi’s tutoring experience is for Joe and our whole family,” said Catherine.  

“Our lives are much richer because of the teamwork GiGi’s has… just knowing that the tutors exist warms our hearts and gives us hope that our kids will be included and welcome out in the world even when it’s not family.” 

As heartwarming as Joe’s story is, it’s not finished. In fact, it’s far from it.   

Joe was recently accepted to Bowling Green State University Firelands campus and will be attending in the fall, with Catherine calling it “a dream come true.” 

Catherine credits GiGi’s for helping turn this dream into a reality and recently wrote to the GiGi’s Virtual Playhouse team to thank them for their efforts. “We appreciate all the time, creativity, patience, versatility, effort, and love you bring into our lives,” she wrote.  

“What you do for Joe affects our whole family and lifts us all up! You make Joe feel like a very big deal. You’re a BIG DEAL GiGi’s team!!!!” 

The entire GiGi’s Playhouse team is thrilled we could play a role in helping Joe achieve his goals. 

“If we had to do it all over again, we would do the exact same thing by connecting with GiGi’s Virtual Playhouse and accepting all the love, encouragement guidance and teaching,” said Catherine.  

I really believe GiGi’s made all the difference in Joe’s life.” 

All of us at GiGi’s are beyond excited for Joe, Catherine, and the entire Pawsey family. We can’t wait to see all the incredible things Joe is able to accomplish, and we look forward to continuing to be part of his journey! 

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More than words: Joe Pawsey’s success transcends reading

With the help of GiGi’s Virtual Playhouse team, Joe Pawsey was able to regain his confidence and accomplish his dreams!  At GiGi’s Playhouse, we strongly believe that education opens doors. Whether it’s at school, the workplace, or the community at large, literacy leads to inclusion. There’s no better illustration of this than a recent success…

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