A NEWLY ENHANCED 1:1 MATH TUTORING PROGRAM FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DOWN SYNDROME
For many of us with school-aged children, we have spent months learning to switch educational gears to remote learning. It hasn’t always been easy, but we have found ways to adapt to circumstances beyond our control. Organizations like GiGi’s Playhouse, a place for families and the community to learn about and celebrate the diagnosis of Down syndrome, had to also become creative on how to continue their therapeutic services.
Normally, individuals gathered at the Achievement Center for educational and training programs and activities in an environment of total acceptance. There are over 50 free-standing Playhouses throughout the United States and Mexico, and the Fox Valley Center in Aurora has had the honor of working with over 400 families. Programs are offered 100% free so that the cost will never be a barrier to achievement. When Covid restrictions hit last March, the organization did not hit pause and continued with their lifetime commitment to their families by launching a national virtual and on-demand platform named GiGi’s at Home. The Fox Valley location has already accumulated 1,000 hours of virtual programming.
One of GiGi’s most popular programs is their literacy tutoring. Their 1:1 program is designed to be a success-oriented guide to help students gain skills and confidence that will carry over into school, home and the community. “We understand that individuals with Down syndrome learn differently, and our aim is to make our program easy, motivating, and successful,” says Katie Vaughan, Site Coordinator for GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley. “We celebrate each students’ ‘best of all’, meaning expecting participants to do just a little better than the week before.”
This spring, GiGi’s Playhouse will be introducing their newly enhanced 1:1 math tutoring. Right now, they are looking for a number of literacy and math tutors to volunteer and help keep these programs running successfully. Tutors need to be at least 16 years old. They are also looking for committee and board members to help execute programs and leaders of their therapeutic programs like GiGiFIT. They have their GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge launching on January 5th!
To learn more about volunteering as a literacy or math tutor and the many programs available at GiGi’s Playhouse and their GiGi’s at Home virtual platform, visit www.gigisplayhouse.org/foxvalley/.