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GiGi’s Playhouse partners with Walsh University

Posted on August 22, 2022


In partnership with The Repository, every Monday, Stark Community Foundation is highlighting positive happenings in our community. Here’s to Good News Mondays! 

This summer, GiGi’s Playhouse Canton, a nonprofit serving individuals with Down syndrome in our community, held the first session of its GiGiFIT family of programs to promote physical activity and wellness among participants. The first-ever session was led by students from Walsh University's physical therapy program and introduced the key movements of foundational, hip strengthening and vestibular and balance exercises that help development and mobility at any stage of life.

GiGiFIT is a free set of six programs that combine physical therapy with fitness activities and promote wellness through nutrition, pushing through barriers and building self-confidence. Created in collaboration with skilled physical therapists who work specifically with individuals with Down syndrome, the GiGiFIT programs are designed to address common issues for individuals with Down syndrome including hypotonia, excessive joint laxity and decreased balance.

The six programs are tailored to serve all ages of its Down syndrome community — parents and caregivers, infants, toddlers, kids, teens and adults. Participants build strength, endurance, power, joint stability, balance and movement control as they are empowered to be more independent and secure in their abilities.  

Gigi’s Playhouse Canton was established in 2019 by a group of passionate parents and individuals in the Akron-Canton area to provide individuals of all ages with Down syndrome a safe place to call their own in our community. Participants of all ages are encouraged to explore their abilities through proven programming and offerings in an environment of support and celebration. All programs are delivered by a team of trained volunteers and offered at no cost to families so that money is never a barrier to receive resources, support and services.

Enrollment is now open for GiGiFIT’s fall 2022 session, taking place each Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. beginning Sept. 19 and ending Dec. 5. Learn more and register at

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