To celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and raise money for the Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana (DSANI), Three Rivers Montessori School students, families and staff recently held a school-wide salsa sale and sold footprints to decorate the school’s halls.
Under the direction of Elementary teacher, Jennifer Darmogray, this is the second year the school has undertaken the project. Families donated all of the ingredients and the jars for canning, while the elementary and kindergarten students then chopped and mixed the ingredients to create the salsa. The students made flyers and signs to promote the sale and take pre-orders, and they also sold jars in the car pool line.
The school has a special connection to Down syndrome and wanted to honor 4th year student, Amy Bockerstette, who has Down syndrome, and participate on her DSANI Buddy Walk fundraising team, Amy’s Village. “We chose the name Amy’s Village for our Buddy Walk team because we believe that it really does take a village to raise a child. At Three Rivers Montessori, with their family-centered approach, we feel the support and acceptance and that sense of belonging to a village,” said Amy’s mother, Jenny Bockerstette, who is also the President of DSANI.
Every month the Elementary students engage in a different service project. “In October, it makes sense that we should honor Down Syndrome Awareness Month and support the local Down syndrome association. We made salsa because it is Amy’s favorite snack and something the students can easily make. The footprints were another way for everyone to become involved and visibly show support,” Miss Jennifer explained.
Between the footprints and the salsa sales, the school raised $600, which the Elementary students presented to Mrs. Bockerstette in a special ceremony the day before the Buddy Walk.