School raises awareness of Down syndrome on special day

WEDNESDAY, March 21, was World Down syndrome Awareness Day, a special day for Zach, Jasmin and Hannah.

These three children, from Sawtell Mary Help of Christians school, all have Down syndrome, and are integrated into regular classrooms at their school.

Students and staff from the school participated in several activities during the week which were aimed at raising awareness around Down syndrome, including fundraising activities, videos, and discussions.

On Friday, March 24, Zach, Jasmin and Hannah helped present a cheque of $250 to Down syndrome NSW during a school as- sembly, from money raised in a walk-a-thon, and at a staff morning tea.

For Zach's mother, Carolyn Tumminello, the support and awareness of staff and students from Mary Help of Christians school around Down syndrome is all important.

"The school has a lot of awareness around Down syndrome. They have a program to teach makaton to the students, a type of sign language that incorporates speech, for people with Down syndrome.

"The kids learn things like greetings and common words. They also run information seminars for parents and teachers around Down syndrome," she said.

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