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Grant lifts GiGi’s Playhouse

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new grant from the Golisano Foundation is helping GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester expand critical services for people with Down syndrome and their families.

Jennifer Bustamante, President of GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester, and Kim Guerrieri, the Vice President, discussed the grant and its application Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“This grant is very exciting for us,” said Bustamante. “Golisano has awarded us $50,000 for our Speech and Language Program, so we’re going to be able to offer – free of charge to all of our participants – this one on one speech program.”

This will add to what is already offered at GiGi’s Playhouse. “All individuals with Down syndrome have a delay in speech,” explained Guerrieri. “So this will help them. It’s a supplement for schooling. It will improve their clarity, improve their articulation. It will help them get ready for social and school. It will just be a great asset for them.”

The grant has enabled GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester to hire a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, who will put together the program from GiGi’s Inc. and apply it to each individual. “Initially we’re going to do a pilot program in which we’re going to have 10 students,” Bustamante said. “Over time we plan to have 30 students for each session.”

The new program will launch on August 19.

GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester is also looking forward to its annual “Golf Fore GiGi’s” fundraising golf tournament, set for August 17 at Mill Creek Golf Club. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

For more information about GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester visit their website.

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