Down Syndrome Achievement Center opening next year

Staff Report~ 10/8/2014

PHOENIX – Jennifer Gage, a Phoenix mother of four, marks National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, by announcing that plans are in motion to open the first GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Phoenix early next year. GiGi’s Playhouse is an international non-profit organization that is changing the outdated perceptions of children and individuals with Down syndrome.  

Phoenix will join the GiGi’s Playhouse network of achievement centers across the country. It will be a place where Arizonans with Down syndrome and their families can learn, develop, grow, and share experiences. The endeavor was inspired by Gage’s 18-year old daughter Kaitlyn and by Gage’s experience as the mother of a child with Down syndrome.  

“GiGi’s Playhouse will provide free, customized therapeutic and educational programming for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages, along with their families,” said Gage. “Nothing like this currently exists in Phoenix, it will fill a gap for families, and it is the type of place that would have been ideal for my Kaitlyn during her early years. She is my inspiration and I foresee that she’ll be active at the Playhouse now as a young adult.”   

Currently, GiGi’s Playhouse in Phoenix is an assembly of core volunteers who have conducted a few fundraisers, participated in local events and are building relationships with other like-minded entities. The ‘bricks and mortar’ building is on track to open in early 2015. The group seeks to broaden its base of volunteers, donors, and to gain in-kind donations. To learn more about this organization and the planned Phoenix chapter visit the group’s Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1vBe4zg or call (602) 291-9476.