Leaps and Bounds stole my heart
by Nicole Greenberg, PT, DPT
It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was volunteering at the Open House for GiGi’s Playhouse Westchester, introducing myself to the families that I would continue working with over the next 12 months. Having the opportunity to lead the Leaps & Bounds program with Marcela DeLaPava since the opening of the Playhouse has been an absolute blessing. I have had the opportunity to watch the Playhouse begin as a group of incredible, driven and caring women with a dream to provide a place where their children could grow, gain confidence in their skills and create a place of acceptance that has inspired their community as well as myself and many other volunteers.
The Leaps & Bounds program is something I looked forward to every second Saturday of the month. I have watched these children blossom in their gross motor, fine motor, language and social skills, but most importantly form bonds with each other, the volunteers and the program leaders that will last a lifetime. Each child I have worked with has left a lasting impression on my heart, from their smiles, to their laughs, to their work ethic. When the children walk through those doors at 9:30am they inspire me to continue to put my best foot forward, bring energy to match theirs’ and become the best therapist and volunteer I can be. It doesn’t matter if it is reading a book on our bellies for “tummy time” or pretending to be animals to strengthen their core and improve motor coordination, the children’s desire to participate is nothing less than 100%.
As I move forward into a pediatric Residency program at the University of Miami this coming August, the children and families I have had the opportunity to work with will always have a special place in my heart. Although I won’t be there singing songs and playing popcorn with the parachute this month, I know the program will continue to grow and thrive because of the children and their families as well as all the amazing volunteers that are attracted to this magical playhouse. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to work so closely with the Playhouse, for allowing me to be a part of the Leaps & Bounds program, and to help shape it into something that I know will only continue to grow and thrive.