My Pulse News

Mena, Arkansas, News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Mena’s first National Down Syndrome Day walk takes a big step

By Ethan Nahté

World Down Syndrome Day is designated as March 21 each year, a day to come together to celebrate Down syndrome and raise awareness according to the National Down syndrome Society (NDSS). 

Typically, the nucleus of each cell in our genetic make-up is 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. According to the CDC, approximately one in every 772 babies in the United Sates is born with Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition. Approximately 5,100 babies with Down syndrome are born in the U.S. each year. The cause of the condition is still unknown.

This year, Mena saw what was, perhaps, their first organized walk for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) on March 21 (3-21), signifying the fact that people with Down syndrome are born with three copies of chromosome 21. WDSD was promulgated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 and is celebrated in over 190 countries.

The organizers of the event that became known as Walk for National Down Syndrome Day were Mandy Rowe and Shanda Craig. Rowe is an Arvest Bank mortgage sales assistant. Craig is the student support coordinator/district family and engagement coordinator for Mena Public Schools. 

Both women are parents to a child with Down syndrome. Mandy’s son Truitt and Shanda’s son Bear were the inspiration for what began as something much smaller for the two families’ first WDSD event.

Craig said, “It started out as just a family thing and then Karen Parnell, Mena Middle School self-contained teacher, spurred the idea of hosting a walk to help raise funds for adaptive playground equipment.”

Both the Louise Durham Elementary (LDE) and Holly Harshman Elementary (HHE) schools were without any such equipment. The adaptive equipment could be utilized for children with a variety of special needs and not solely for those with Down syndrome. 

Rowe said, “Our children have been the driving force for us to organize the walk. Truitt has been a blessing since the moment he entered our lives. Down Syndrome is just a diagnosis and does not define who our kiddos are. Every child needs support from their family in their own ways and Truitt and Bear need just a little extra.

“Now is the time for us, as parents of children with disabilities, to stand up and support them in any way possible. Our goal is to give them every advantage in life that we can, ranging from therapy to playground equipment. The walk is just one small piece of making that possible.”

“Initially, as stated, my family and I were just going to walk for the day to celebrate Bear,” Craig said, “and Down syndrome and all of its wonder. After visiting with Karen and learning that there was a need at each campus, the idea morphed into a community wide event to help all children.”

Mena Superintendent Lee Smith said, “Anytime we have the opportunity to address to diversity in the students, we try to meet that need. We are seeing a growing population with severe needs and we want to meet those as much as we can.”

Craig said, “As we push for inclusion across the state, this will continue to create that atmosphere. Every student has a chance to play on the playground. Every student will have something that they can do outside regardless of their mobility.” 

Smith also pointed out that the Craig and Rowe got the ball rolling. Even Craig had seemingly not contemplated the need for such equipment.

“This wasn’t a school planned function,” Craig said. “This event was organized by parents rather than the school. As a parent, I honestly never thought about adaptive playground equipment and it being a necessity!”

Craig had not been personally approached by other parents or students with disabilities wishing they could be able to get out on the playground similar to other children. “But you can see the needs that students have. I think the wheelchair-accessible swing will be huge to have at each campus.”

The event sign-up fee was $21, with the proceeds to go to each school. The weather was predicted to be overcast and cool for the second day of spring, but not miserable. Yet, miserable was what they got with a light breeze cutting through the mist and the temperature sitting right at 40º for the planned 3-mile walk on March 21 (3-21) at 9 a.m., starting at The Crossing, and extending considerably past Janssen Park.

Craig said, “We had over 70 people show up in the cold and rain to walk. That was very heartwarming.”

A single-seat swing frame without the swing platform is over $1,400. Craig and Rowe’s initial goal was to raise $5,000. The entry fee of the 70 participants would raise enough for the platform. Thanks to other donations, the walk not only topped the basic amount, but also their initial goal, surprising the women. They nearly doubled it, raising $9,144.

“We could not believe how much our community would stand with us in support of this goal and have been blown away with their generosity.” Rowe said.

Craig said, “It went really well! The outpouring of support and love has been amazing to see. Our community truly is the best. Every child matters — every person matters in our community and that has definitely been proven!  

The MSRP for the ADA Combination Swing, made by SportsPlay Equipment, is $4,009, but $3,368 through AAA State of Play. It comes with two swings on one structure, usable by ages 2-12 and adults. In the version the Mena campuses will be receiving, there is a wheelchair swing and an adaptive swing. 

“We will purchase one for each campus,” Craig said.

The current swing set at Holly Harshman Elementary School

Hopefully, there won’t be supply chain issues as there has been with many items post-COVID-19. Craig is hoping that the equipment will be delivered by the end of the 2022-2023 school year but feels confident it will arrive in time for the 2023-2024 season.

Smith said, “I’m really proud [they] took the initiative to do that. Anytime that we can bring in more revenue than expected and put it to good use, that is a win-win. That’s good for the students and the attitude of the teachers. It’s a good feeling.”

As for March 21, 2024, Craig isn’t sure what their goals may be, but she has hope. “I would love for this to be a yearly thing. There is always more equipment that could be purchased.”

For more information on the National Down Syndrome Society, visit For more information on AAA State of Play, which carries a large variety of playground equipment, visit

In other school safety improvement news, during the March 27 school board meeting, Dr. Smith added that the district had received a safety grant that would pay for the installation of a new higher fence at LDE, a one key lock system at HHE, and door alarms across the district as well as signage for security.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonfutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

About Author

Share This Post