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Countryside School rallies for GiGi's Playhouse 5K and Fun Run support

BARRINGTON – Countryside School recently held an all-school assembly and pep rally for the upcoming Countryside Cares 5k and Fun Run for GiGi’s Playhouse.

Each year, Countryside Cares – a third through fifth-grade volunteer group – hosts a 5k race on Countryside School grounds to benefit a local charity. This year, they chose GiGi’s Playhouse, which provides educational and therapeutic services to children with Down syndrome.

Gayle Gianopulos, mother of two Countryside students who have Down syndrome, shared information about what the diagnosis means and interactive experiments to show how it feels to live with Down syndrome every day.

The students also heard from Jessica Gianopulos, a fifth grade student at Countryside who has Down syndrome. Jessica Gianopulos shared all of the things she likes to do, just like the other students, as well as her feelings and her dreams.

Mother of "GiGi" and GiGi’s Playhouse founder, Nancy Gianni, shared information with the students about her organization. Gianni also shared an important message about how important it is to treat others as you wish to be treated and to always be kind..

Countryside Cares students shared details of the upcoming race and encouraged peers to register.

The event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. May 2 at Countryside School, 205 W County Line Rd. in Barrington, with the race being expected to start around 4 p.m.

Anyone can attend. Registration for both the 5k and one-mile races is $10. Concessions will be available for sale. All proceeds will benefit GiGi’s Playhouse. Pledges are also being accepted.

Visit to register or visit for more information on the local non-profit organization.

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