World Down Syndrome Day is Saturday, March 21, and the story of Christopher Warner will warm your heart.
Christopher and his twin brother Matthew were born with Down Syndrome 10 years ago and now attend West Friendship Elementary School under the guidance of their teacher, Avery Stanert.
As a special education teacher, Ms. Stanert must take the different ways her students learn and connect them to the curriculum. One of the ways she does this is to integrate technology into their learning.
When Christopher's love of the band Maroon 5 came to light, Ms. Stanert and Jay Hacket, student assistant, used social media to reach out to the band. Christopher was filmed over several school days working hard while listening to Maroon 5 and completing a writing assignment about them.
With his parent's permission, Ms. Stanert uploaded the video of Christopher on YouTube, which went viral almost overnight (over three million views in two weeks). Between Fox 5 News and the Kane Show, Christopher's dream of meeting Adam Levine and Maroon 5 became a reality.
On Monday, March 2, Christopher, his mother Cecilia, Ms. Stanert, Mr. Hacket and several West Friendship teachers took the metro to Washington to see the band live in concert. When Christopher had the chance to meet the band, he became overwhelmed and wasn't sure what to do. Maroon 5 reacted in a way that made Christopher comfortable.
The band signed Christopher's drawing of them and gave him many mementos to remember that event. But by the look on Christopher's face, world famous photograph or not, that was a night he will never forget. Children with disabilities want to be loved and accepted as all children do; they are kids first. If Christopher's reaction to meeting his idol is any indication of his determination, then we haven't seen anything yet.
Show your support for Christopher, Matthew and every one who is affected by Down Syndrome by wearing mismatched socks on March 21.The mismatched sock movement is designed to make people reflect on differences.
Marriotts Ridge High School presents "Jukebox 10 — The Legend Ends," the final chapter in the phenomenon that has run 10 years to sold out audiences! Don't miss this song-filled, energetic musical revue featuring tunes that span generations and genres from jazz to rap.
The show will be performed Thursday through Saturday, March 19, 20 and 21, curtain at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 22, curtain at 3 p.m.
This is the 10th and final episode of Jukebox for MRHS. Jukebox is the annual student-conceived, rocking musical revue that features 14 songs from all genres played by a 16-piece live student band with dancing and singing by a cast of over 60 students. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.seatyourself.biz/marriottsridge. If tickets are available, they will also be sold during lunch shifts during the week of March 16 and at the door of performances.
Clarlen Nursery School, on Bethany Lane, will host its annual Wheely Fun Day on Friday, March 20, from 1 to 3 pm. Vehicles of all sizes and varieties will be on display in the back parking lot of Bethany United Methodist Church for pre-schoolers and their parents to see. This is a free event and open to the public.