NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Students at Larrymore Elementary School in Norfolk were treated to a movie on World Down Syndrome Day Thursday.
The idea began with 9-year-old Gus Zaletski's grandmother, Melissa. She hoped by showing Gus' classmates the film, "Just Like You – Down Syndrome," they would gain a better understanding and appreciation for their peers with an extra chromosome, just like Gus.
The film was produced last fall by the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City and filmmaker Jen Greenstreet and features first-person accounts by three children with Down Syndrome and their friends.
Her idea was met with positive reactions from both Larrymore Elementary School Principal David Faircloth and the Senior Director for Learning Support Dr. Veleka Gatling with Norfolk Public Schools. Thursday morning, the film was shown to all third-graders at the school.
"The purpose of viewing this video is to increase knowledge and understanding of our school community," Faircloth said. "As we continue to build the character traits of our students, our goal is to teach them to accept people for who they are on the inside."
Zaletzki, who is also a representative of the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads expressed excitement for the debut.
"March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, and it is a credit to Norfolk Public Schools for having an inclusive perspective for all the kids.," Zaletski said.
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