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Ms. MacInnis' Class Wins Writing Competition!

Ms. MacInnis’ classroom community from Salmo Elementary School has won the Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Awareness Society’s writing competition! The grade 1-3 class won $321 dollars for their efforts to build upon their understandings of Down syndrome.

Ms. MacInnis exclaimed, "We won! We won!" as she was overjoyed with excitement in hearing that her class won the competition. She went on to highlight,  "this was a rich learning experience, and the kids worked hard. I'm so proud of them!"

The class ended up reading several books, watched videos about Down syndrome, the challenges faced, the interests of a variety of kids and young adults, Q&A videos, stories from the perspective of siblings and parents and more. To build their understanding further they created a fictitious "new student" that came to join the class.

"We created a bit of a profile of this new classmate with Down syndrome and one student chose to write a story about a student with autism, and we imagined his/her struggles and interests," explained Ms. MacInnis.  

After some education and discussion over a number of days, the class created a collective essay and then students individually and in pairs wrote their own fiction stories addressing the following question:

"How do you include a person with Down syndrome as well as other neuro-diverse learners in all activities during class time, recess, lunch and after school activities?"

The feedback provided by the competition organizers praised the class and teacher for their considerable effort and expressed the hope that this opportunity enriches their lives and reminds them in the future that, "when a person enters their lives who is a little different, they apply some of these lessons" — great advice for everyone in the Salmo Elementary School Community. 

Currently, the class is awaiting their cash prize with a fancy big cheque expected to arrive in the upcoming weeks. We are all so proud! Thank you, Ms. MacInnis for your continued efforts to build up our inclusive school community!

Canadian Down Syndrome Week was from October 22-28, 2023, and World Down Syndrome Day is coming up on March 21, 2024.