By SARAH ROSE
Glasgow Daily Times
Dozens of blue and yellow balloons entered the cloudless sky from the hands of fourth-graders on Friday afternoon at Park City Elementary School’s playground.
The balloons were a way for the school to commemorate PCES’ second World Down Syndrome Awareness Day event, led by Serena Montgomery, the mother to Kristine Montgomery, a 10-year-old student at the school who has Down syndrome.
Before eating cake and drinking punch or lemonade at the event, a staff member gave students information about the genetic condition.
The items used for the commemoration were yellow and blue, which are the colors used for Down syndrome awareness.
Serena Montgomery said Friday wasn’t just about celebrating Kristine.
“It’s [also] to celebrate what an amazing group of peers who love and accept her,” she said, “These students are awesome and I love how they interact with her. They watch out for her and play with her. The teachers are amazing. It’s a really good school here.”
Serena Montgomery said WDSAD, which is commemorated in places around the globe, takes place on March 21 because the genetic disorder is caused by a third copy or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.
Montgomery said her daughter is kind to others.
“She is very strong-willed with a heart of gold and very lovable and just wants to be like any other kid,” Serena Montgomery said, “That’s what World Down Syndrome Day is about – awareness and acceptance.”
She said Kristine enjoys staying active.
“She plays sports with the Barren County Flames Special Olympics,” she said.
Kristine has a variety of interests, including Austin and Ally, a Disney Channel sitcom; country singer Taylor Swift; and Big Time Rush, an American boy band, her mother said.
Her favorite possession is a Woody doll, a character from the movie, “Toy Story.”
“Her Woody doll has to go everywhere with her,” she said.
Serena Montgomery said she appreciates the support in the area for people who have the condition and the individuals who care for them. She mentioned Down Syndrome Support Group of South Central Kentucky, Down Syndrome of South Central Kentucky and the Buddy House. She said people who want to know more information about Down syndrome can contact those organizations or visit www.ndss.org.