Sock Day raises disability awareness
Stripes, spots, and zig-zag patterned socks adorned the feet, hands and heads of Whakarongo School staff and pupils on Monday. Of course, perfectly normal – it was Sock Day.
The 21st of the third month is an awareness day for Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by extra or third copy of chromosome number 21.
One of the school’s 500 students, Room 18 pupil Lily Romeril, 9, was born with the genetic disorder.
Her teachers and peers decided to mark the day to raise awareness and show their support.
‘‘It’s for Down syndrome awareness and it’s a nice, inclusive way for Lily to be a part of our social community,’’ explains Deputy principal Lesley Jeffery
Lily wore pink and black striped socks and a sock hair tie. The sock on her right foot featuring an owl face made out of silver and black gems, is a particular favourite. School too, is a place she likes to be, enjoying lessons, teachers and the company of her friends.
This was the second sock-day the school has held and the children were excited to take part.
‘‘They’ve been delighted. It’s just nice to have some fun.’’
Lesley says the school has held clothing days for a range of children with disorders and diseases.
‘‘Our community is made up of a lot of different people and it’s just celebrating who they are.’’
Lily’s mum Debbie says her daughter is fun and funny, and people are genuinely interested in how she is doing. Now Sock Day is over, Debbie is looking forward to next Wednesday’s Navigating Your Future disability expo in the Convention Centre. An initiative of Phoenix Supported Employment with the support of the city council, the expo brings together disability support groups.
‘‘It has taken me nine years to get used to this, but my journey changes all the time and I always need new information. By going to the expo you get to find out more, and come across organisations you’ve never heard of before.’’
The March 30 expo, from 11am to 6pm, has attracted agencies across the full disability spectrum including training and vocational providers, support and advice networks, accommodation options, recreational opportunities and funding sources.
Whakarongo School kids celebrate with socks during Monday’s ‘sock day’ raising awareness of Down syndrome. Lily Romeril, who has the disorder is fourth from the left.