By Mary Kizior
On March 21, people all over the world will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day—a day dedicated to showing the world that people with Down syndrome have dignity and deserve respect, just like all other human beings. Show your support for people with Down syndrome by doing some or all of these five activities with your whole family.
1. Read stories with your kids.
There is no better way to teach pro-life values than through storytelling. Picture books can be powerful teaching tools to help your children and students understand that every person’s life has meaning and value. Use these picture books about Down syndrome and disabilities to spark discussions with your children to help them understand the beauty of each and every person. Take story time to the next level with All Shapes and Sizes, a 4-week unit study that examines Down syndrome, autism, the beauty of the elderly, and the fact that it’s okay to be different.
2. Watch movies.
There aren’t many movies that feature a person with Down syndrome as a main character. The movie Where Hope Grows tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a man named Calvin and a young grocery store employee nicknamed Produce. When alcoholism gets in the way of his formerly blossoming baseball career and his relationships with others, Calvin nearly gives up. His life changes when he meets optimistic and cheerful Produce who has Down syndrome. Even though Produce has a disability, he doesn’t allow it to define him. Produce teaches Calvin about the meaning of friendship, family, and sacrifice. Where Hope Grows is a powerful story of friendship and the beauty of every person’s life. (In addition to brief mild language and numerous drinking scenes, the main character’s daughter puts herself in sexual situations with her boyfriend, leading up to an attempted rape at the climax of the film. Because of these themes, Where Hope Grows is best enjoyed by families with older teens.)
3. Learn about Down syndrome.
What does it mean to have Down syndrome? Find answers to all of your questions about Down syndrome in this cute video by the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation.
Want to take your knowledge a step further? With this one-class lesson from CLSP, you can learn about servant of God Jérôme Lejeune, who discovered the genetic cause of Down syndrome and dedicated his life to helping the most vulnerable people in society.
4. Become inspired.
Learn about great things that people with Down syndrome are doing to change our world. Read inspirational stories about little heroes with Down syndrome on this tumblr by the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation USA. Enjoy these Stories to Inspire from the Culture of Life Studies Program which highlight individuals with Down syndrome and how they make a difference in the lives of others.
Show your support of World Down Syndrome Day on social media. Share these inspirational videos from The Mighty which show others how every human being’s life matters, no matter how many chromosomes they have. Use the hashtag #WDSD18 on your social media platform of choice to show others that you care about people with Down syndrome.
Want more resources? Check out our Down syndrome awareness toolkit here.
Mary Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message.