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Unqua Students Unite for Down Syndrome Awareness

Students promoted acceptance and inclusion at Unqua Elementary School by wearing yellow shirts and crazy socks for World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. The day took on a special meaning this year following the passing of a beloved student, Fallon Rae Brown, who had Down syndrome.

Fallon, a fifth grader, served as a constant inspiration to her classmates as a kind and caring person who was passionate about giving back to her school and community. Her mother and two other brothers spent part of the day in Sarah Lang’s class, where Fallon was a student.

Ms. Lang’s fifth graders showcased a shamrock they made to resemble a stained glass window. She noted that rays of light shine through stained glass, symbolic of Fallon who was known as Unqua’s “little ray of sunshine.” The shamrock will keep Fallon’s light always shining on their class. Each student also made an individual shamrock showcasing three lessons they learned from Fallon.

Students throughout the school participated in Rock Your Socks Day, a global campaign to raise awareness about Down syndrome. At Unqua, the initiative was spearheaded by the student council. Every student wearing crazy socks was asked to bring in $1 for a donation to Gigi’s Playhouse, a Down syndrome achievement center, in Fallon’s honor. Deanna Musacchia, adviser of student council, said many students donated more.

The Best Buddies Club also raised awareness by making large yellow posters – for Fallon’s favorite color – that were hung throughout the school. The posters promoted unity through messages and collections of student handprints.

“It’s important to celebrate our differences and celebrate people for who they are,” said Avery B., a fourth grade member of Best Buddies.

Ella B., a fifth grade student council member, added that the whole school came together to promote acceptance, kindness and tolerance in honor of Fallon, “a beautiful, loving and caring” person.