Thanks to an initiative by West Hartford mom Brooke Daly, students at elementary and middle schools in West Hartford will wear ‘crazy socks’ on Monday, March 21, in honor of World Down Syndrome Day.
By Ronni Newton
When West Hartford resident Brooke Daly attended the Parent Leadership Training Initiative last year, which is sponsored by The Bridge Family Center, she successfully began a project to celebrate “World Down Syndrome Day” in the town’s schools, and had four schools participating by wearing crazy socks.
This year, Daly said, students throughout West Hartford will participate in “Lots of Socks” – a national campaign designed to get people talking and raise awareness of Down syndrome. “Lots of Socks” takes place on March 21, which is National Down Syndrome Day.
“The theme is a crazy sock day to help raise awareness and just get people talking about World Down Syndrome Day. Last year there were only four schools that participated but I’m happy to say this year we have nine of the elementary schools and all three of the middle schools,” Daly said. Schools in surrounding towns will participate as well, she said.
Daly’s son Finn, now three, has Down syndrome, and when she found out – before he was born – she decided her new career would become promoting awareness, acceptance, and inclusion for children with Down syndrome. Last year, along with promoting the wearing of crazy socks for World down Syndrome Day, Daly and Finn also took part in a Mothers’ Day campaign for “Changing the Face of Beauty,” appearing in an ad for a local flower shop.
Daly was thrilled when West Hartford Public Schools Director of Pupil Services Glenn McGrath was supportive of her initiative this year. McGrath sent a letter to the principals at all of the town’s elementary and middle schools urging their participation in “Lots of Socks” by the wearing of crazy socks on Monday, March 21. The letter said: “While your school’s celebration provides greater awareness of the diverse needs of our special needs students, it also reflects your dedication to diversity and our collective commitment to meeting the challenges of ALL learners. As always, thanks for Clearing the path, No limits and Bright futures.”
Daly said she is hopeful that the wearing of crazy socks on World Down Syndrome Day will become an annual occurrence.
Since the weather forecast is calling for snow, McGrath said that if school is closed on Monday, the crazy sock day will take place on Tuesday, March 22.
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