Gigi’s Playhouse Fox Valley serves Aurora, Naperville and the surrounding communities. The concept of GiGi’s Playhouse was created by Nancy Gianni after her daughter, GiGi, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. What began as a mother’s vision to change perception, and maximize her daughter’s successes, has evolved into a global movement of acceptance.
Many young parents do not expect, or know in advance of their child’s diagnosis, and they want to feel their child is receiving genuine acceptance from day one. At GiGi’s Playhouse families are supported and empowered with all the tools their child needs to succeed!
The very first Playhouse was created to be an inspirational and dedicated place for families to celebrate their child and benefit from free, purposeful programs that unleash joy, confidence and continuous improvement. Today, more than 40 Playhouses empower children and adults to achieve their “Best of All” and to pursue their dreams.
The Fox Valley Playhouse offers 29 programs that are educational or therapeutic to individuals from birth through adulthood. These programs are run by a team of dedicated volunteers.
New this year, GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley will be offering a few signature and specialty programs weekly versus once a month. The programs will rotate each quarter and will run for 10 weeks. A program will be offered each quarter for early learners, school-age children, and adults. As Katie states during the interview, the change is to have greater FREQUENCY and opportunities for greater PURPOSEFUL PROGRESSION, as well as explore a greater number of programs in greater depth.
GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley partners with many local businesses and organizations to further the overall mission of awareness of the potential for people with Down syndrome within the Fox Valley community. Their success of offering quality programs and running a cost efficient playhouse depends greatly on the generosity of both donations — and most importantly — the dedicated volunteers who help run their programs.
To learn more about the organization, visit their website.
Katie Vaughan, Site Coordinator
Kathryn Smith, Outreach Ambassador