The kids at Little Trotters wore their craziest socks for the kindest purpose on Wednesday.
Little Trotters, a Cayman nursery school, was participating in “Rock Your Socks,” an annual global celebration designed to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day. The kids wore socks of every hue and pattern, with some sporting stripes and others polka dots in service of their message.
Lesley Maddock, the manager at Little Trotters, said it’s important for her school to celebrate inclusion and diversity, and she praised Starfish Village, another local nursery school, for leading the way.
“It is wonderful having the children participate,” she said. “It shows an awareness and it’s so important to try to encourage inclusion in schools. We absolutely support that. We know that Starfish Village has got a lovely inclusion program going on and it’s just so important for everybody to be welcome.”
Ms. Maddock’s daughter, Emma, staged a bake sale at Little Trotters on Wednesday, both to draw attention to the Rock Your Socks campaign and to raise money for a pair of admirable causes.
Emma, who is in Year 7 at Cayman Prep, was hoping to raise money for the Special Needs Foundation of Cayman and also to aid in the treatment of Matthew Chong Ping, a Cayman Prep student who is currently being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma at a Florida hospital.
A GoFundMe page erected in Matthew’s honor has raised more than $30,000 for his treatment, and Ms. Maddock said she was thrilled that her daughter wanted to lend a hand.
“She loves doing bake sales and she loves raising money for charity,” she said. “My kitchen has been crazy the last couple of days. But somehow when there’s sugar involved, they don’t mind staying up late.”
“I was up half the night. I was pretty involved with it,” added young Emma. “I made 50 percent of the stuff by myself, and the other 50 percent, I either had help or my mom made it.”
World Down Syndrome Day was first observed in 2006, and March 21 was chosen to signify the unique triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome. The United Nations recognized the global awareness day in December 2011 and invited all member states to celebrate it.