SUBMITTED PHOTO The Clintono Topper
Mrs. Fleming organized Rock Your Socks for World Down Syndrome Day 2017. Showing support and love for Emilyn and all individuals with Down Syndrome. “More alike than different!”

By Mary Ann Inman
Kaitalyn Perez’s teacher, Mrs. Fleming, researched and realized March 21 is designated as World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. The number 21 is significant because Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, the day was set aside in 2006 to raise awareness and to advocate for the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down syndrome.
“The reality for many is that prevailing negative attitudes result in low expectations, discrimination and exclusion, creating communities where children and adults with Down syndrome cannot integrate successfully with their peers,” according to the website for World Syndrome Awareness Day.
“But where children with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to participate, all children benefit from this and environments of friendship, acceptance, respect for everyone and high expectations are created.”
Supporters in the second grade were encouraged to “rock crazy socks” on this day to help celebrate what makes all individuals unique. They wore mismatched, crazy, or fun socks to raise awareness that we are more alike than different.