Sunland students ‘Rock their socks’ in support of Down Syndrome

BA principal M. King

Sunland Baptist Academy (SBA) Stingers hosted its Third Annual ‘Rock Your Socks Day’ in support of the 12th Anniversary of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day (#WDSD) on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. 


Myrton King and Sheryl Wood, SBA Principal and Vice Principal, respectively along with administrative staff, teachers and students were proud to help raise community awareness of Down Syndrome (DS), which renowned medical researchers note is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition that is universally present across racial, gender or socio-economic lines.


Down Syndrome (DS) occurs in one in 800 live births and those living with the chromosomal disorder have three copies of the 21st chromosome, while most people just have two copies; usually, DS causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability as well as associated medical issues and affects how a person looks, speaks and learns in school; therefore students with DS may require an extended timeframe to complete their work or have assistance.


Brightly colored socks featuring stripes, plaids, polka dots, animated characters and spunky solids of various textural fabrics and lengths were worn by the SBA Stingers, who excitedly displayed their amazing “sock swag” in support of those living with Down Syndrome.


“The concept of ‘Rock Your Socks’ in support of World Down Syndrome Day has been celebrated by the entire SBA Stingers’ Family for the past three years and it is a worldwide day of recognition that I personally believe everyone throughout the length and breadth of the Bahamas should fully embrace.


“The SBA Stingers’ Family is proud to help raise the level of awareness of Down Syndrome by hosting the ‘Rock Your Socks’ Day as it provides a little glimpse into what persons with DS go through on a daily basis.


“People living with DS are beautiful and unique, yes, while it may take time for them to complete tasks, or grasp new concepts they are able to learn, participate in sports, be artistic, play instruments and become members of various clubs just as their classmates and/or colleagues do.


“As an educator, who has and continues to be involved and passionate about learning as well as helping students with varying developmental physical and intellectual challenges/disabilities triumph; indeed it is a pleasure to have the SBA Stingers’ fully participate in, demonstrate support of and elevate the consciousness of the wider Grand Bahama community for persons such as those living with DS on this day that is set aside to recognize their unique qualities.


“The SBA Stingers’ Family hase always been a proponent of appreciating persons, who think, learn and develop differently that are a part of our society and this is just a small, stylish and fun for us to showcase our support and acceptance of those with these phenomenal yet uniquely diverse traits,” declared SBA Vice Principal Wood.


Individuals with disabilities throughout the Grand Bahama community inclusive of those with DS, definitely want to be loved and accepted just as genuinely as they do with others said, Wood, who is the former principal of The Beacon School, which caters to students of various physical and intellectual handicap and reasoning skill sets.


Assuring the wider community that the SBA Stingers’ Family will always be there providing support to those living with DS as well as those challenged by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy etcetera, Woods said, “Certainly the SBA Stingers’ Family empathizes with the situation faced by those living with DS and wants to be there for them as well as others, who fight daily with the support of family, friends, caretakers and educators to learn grow and develop at their own pace and in their own right.


“Personally, I hope that by hosting this ‘Rock Your Socks Day’ in support of World Down Syndrome Day, other schools, companies, church and civic organizations would incorporate in their calendar of events joining the cause and rendering support.


“Of course we do not want persons to be stigmatized based on having to live with this disorder, as we only wish to empathize with and support them all, while encouraging the public to do likewise, therefore I am extremely appreciative that Sunland Baptist Academy has embraced the spirit of ‘Rocking our Socks’ to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to those with Down Syndrome,” declared Wood.


Published Wednesday, March 22, 2017 


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