UNION, NJ – Three very special students were the honorees at Battle Hill School’s World Down Syndrome Day celebration.

In addition to the parade through the school hallways at which Dillon, Jayden and Andrew were co-Grand Marshals, the event featured a movie and story about Down Syndrome, and a “Getting Down for Down Syndrome” dance in the auditorium.

“Just like you, people with Down Syndrome are good at some things, but need help with other things,” said Battle Hill School Principal Mark Hoyt.  “Everyone needs help now and then.  And that’s ok.”

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Hoyt told the assembled students that Down Syndrome is a condition, not a disease, that some people are born with.   “The purpose of World Down Syndrome Day is to raise public awareness and create a big voice for advocating -- that means looking out for the rights, well-being and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome,” Hoyt said.

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day, officially observed by the United Nations since 2012 to help raise awareness of what Down Syndrome is, what it means to have Down Syndrome, and how people with Down Syndrome play a vital role in their community.

“We recognize these three students today, not to recognize how they are different, but rather to honor them as important members of the Battle Hill School family.  In addition, we’re sending a strong message of acceptance and inclusion for everybody.”

“I encourage you today, and every day, to accept those around you for who they are, lend a helping hand whenever possible, and be mindful of the unique gifts that all of our students possess.”