BUFFALO, N.Y. — GiGi's Playhouse is an organization whose purpose is to change the way the world views down syndrome.
GiGi’s is a place where free education is offered, along with "therapeutic-based and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community, through a replicable playhouse model."
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and to celebrate the beginning of it, a state grant was awarded to GiGi's Playhouse.
State Senator Tim Kennedy visited Gigi’s Playhouse and announced $100,000 in state funding will go toward the center.
The center's executive director, Emily Mondschein, said the money will go toward not only improving its current programs but to expand some of them as well.
According to Mondschein, she and the company are excited to be putting some new career programs in place for older individuals. There are plans to expand their fitness programs as well. GiGi’s will also bring math tutoring to the playhouse.
Senator Kennedy and GiGi’s are also encouraging Western New York to take the "I Accept You" pledge, which is a commitment to being accepting, generous and kind, inclusion matters.
“As an occupational therapist, I was immediately drawn to the mission and the incredible support services that GiGi’s Playhouse offers to Western New York families,” Senator Kennedy said in a statement.
“I know what these parents are going through as they seek out the best care and opportunities for their kids, and I understand how transformational a hands-on, community-driven space like this can be for the long-term growth of children with Down syndrome.”
You can learn more about it on GiGi's Playhouse's website.