Submitted by Purcell Preschool
March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). To bring awareness to the day, students and staff at Purcell Preschool + Daycare were encouraged to wear fun, mismatched pairs of socks. Students listened to a story about Down Syndrome and learned why they were wearing mismatched socks. Students then shared their favourite activities and discussed all the things they have in common with their classmate with Down Syndrome, Neko. After that, it was time for the students to get messy and paint with a sock on their hand or colour a unique sock during art time.
The United Nations first recognized March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) in 2012. The date – the 21st day of the 3rd month – was specifically chosen to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which results in Down syndrome. WDSD acknowledges and celebrates the value, achievements, contributions, and inclusion of all individuals with Down Syndrome. Their many and meaningful contributions to society make our world a better place.
Childcare Manager Cheryl Anderson has seen that firsthand: “That’s been our experience at Purcell Preschool + Daycare: Neko makes it a better place! We’re grateful for the opportunity to learn with and from her every day.”
Neko’s mother, Jessica Schulist, had this to say in response: “We are so grateful that Purcell put the extra effort in to organizing this special day. It’s important to us that Neko’s peers understand that her differences are nothing to be afraid of, and that we welcome their questions and curiosity. Purcell has gone above and beyond in ensuring Neko’s inclusion. We’re lucky to have such an amazing program in this community.”