The Santa Cruz Parent Love Connection celebrated during the month of October with a walk to spread awareness on down syndrome awareness. During the month of October, the Parent Love Connection celebrates people with Down syndrome by making people aware of their capabilities and their accomplishments. “Our celebration is not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating their abilities,” said Maria Scholnick, Program Director.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States are born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome affects people of all races and economic levels. Today, individuals with Down syndrome are active participants in the educational, vocational, social and recreational aspects of our communities. Each year more teens and adults with Down syndrome are graduating from high school, going to college, finding meaningful employment and living independently.
On Sunday, October 15th, the Santa Cruz Parent Love Connection hosted their first walk in Santa Cruz County on behalf of people living with Down syndrome. Families, friends, and community members gathered that morning at Teyechea Park in Nogales Arizona to demonstrate their support. The walk started with a stroll around city hall and part of Grand Avenue. The walk ended at the park where multiple blue and yellow balloons were released into the sky. Blue and yellow colors represent Down Syndrome Awareness.
The celebration concluded with the SCVUSD #35 Superintendent David Verdugo addressing the public about the importance of education for all children and why inclusion is key to success for children with special needs. Several community leaders like Dr. Melissa Lunderville, Special Director from SCVUSD #35 and Steve Freeman President of the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome were among the attendees to show their support.
The SCPLC would like to express their appreciation to all the families who came to support this inaugural walk. The SCPLC is a support and advocacy system established in 2010 to support families raising children with special needs. SCPLC is affiliated with the NDSS and Southern Arizona Network for Down syndrome. SCPLC is funded in big part by SANDS. For more information about SCPLC call (520) 470-5833 you can also find them on Facebook.