Start Spreading the News…

Hope is returning to NYC this September and this time, so are we!! The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) 2022 Buddy Walk has returned as an in-person event, and Hope was lucky enough to be selected for the JumboTron slideshow in Times Square for the second year in a row!

Hope on the Times Square JumboTron in 2021

Please click here to join our team, Strive With Hope, or to donate to our fundraising page. In December 2021, NDSS, in partnership with Down Syndrome Education International, released updated inclusive education guidelines that help inch students like Hope closer to their civil right to equal citizenship within their communities, which at Hope’s young age starts with kindergarten. If IDEA is the coloring book, these new guidelines are the crayons–now we just need to motivate the right people to start coloring!! And that’s where your donation makes its greatest impact.

This year New Jersey was ranked the most restrictive state in the U.S. for special education, and we are living proof of the bias against students with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Our family believes with all our hearts in desegregating our public schools, and we are pouring all of our energy into this cause because it is the right thing to do. The type of academic instruction a child requires should hold zero bearing on equal opportunities and the right to citizenship within the community.

You may register for the September 17th walk at anytime, but if you’d like to join team Strive With Hope, NDSS can only guarantee t-shirts if you register by Friday, August 12th. We will be fundraising through walk day in September, so please share this post widely and help us continue decades of work in removing barriers to inclusion.

When Hope graduated from pre-K in June of this year (I still need to tell you about that! I know…), she walked through the clap-out holding hands with a typical peer from her transitional kindergarten class. I hold onto that image as we fight tooth and nail to gain her access to her right to a free and appropriate public education–harder to come by in New Jersey than you could possibly imagine. I’ll tell you about that, too, some day.

Thank you sincerely for being a part of this incredible celebration of community. Comments are open if you have any questions.

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