BK school raises awareness for World Down Syndrome Day

Students at P.S. 380 in Williamsburg rallied together to raise awareness for Down syndrome on Tuesday.

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, a time when communities around the world seek to bring awareness for people with the neurological disorder. The 21st day of the third month of the year symbolizes the third extra chromosome on the 21st chromosome pair, which causes Down syndrome. 

Children at the Brooklyn elementary school wore bedazzled, crazy socks and walked in two straight lines through the hallways of P.S. 380 to illustrate the struggles people who have Down syndrome face every day. Organizers of the event say the looks and stares they got from the socks are similar to the struggles people with Down syndrome face. 

The idea for the day's activity began with the bond between 8-year-old Victoria and her 7-year-old cousin Damaris, who has Down syndrome. 

"She said to me one day I want to teach my friends about Down syndrome, about kids with disabilities so that people can stop staring," said Damaris Espada, Victoria's mother. 

Miss Manhattan 2017, Rose Bolella, was also in attendance as an advocate for mental health awareness. She says she thinks what Victoria is doing is great and teaches an important lesson. She also hopes other schools will follow in P.S. 380's footsteps. 

Each student was asked to bring in $1 to donate to a walk to raise awareness for Down syndrome. That event will be happening later on in the year, and organizers say they've already raised $400 for Team Damaris.

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