Changing How the World Views Down Syndrome

444 Students 

23 Teachers 

6 Grade levels 

1 School helping with 1 Mission:

To Change the Way the World Views Down Syndrome.  

Guest post by Kathleen Tynes

Addams Elementary School in Royal Oak has been a long-time supporter of GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit. Back in 2022, Sarah, a parent from our Playhouse and former teacher at Addams, started a fundraiser at the school for World Down Syndrome Day. Students were encouraged to “Rock Your Socks” and donate a dollar to the Playhouse.

That day I got to visit Ms. Tcholakian’s 1st grade classroom to explain to the kids what Down syndrome is and why we wear fun socks to celebrate. Addams repeated the fundraiser on WDSD in 2023, and again I joined the same group of children in Ms. Tcholakian’s now 2nd grade classroom to take their knowledge a step further. Understanding the kindness and generosity of these students wasn’t limited to just one classroom, I had dreams of taking our message school-wide.  

This year, with the assistance of the new PTA President, Sarah Schwartz, and the School Principal, Mr. Boyer, we started a “Kindness is Key” project with the whole school for Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Using a large donation of DIY keychain kits our Playhouse was given, my daughter Everly and I created bags for each teacher at Addams. The bags included materials and instructions to make your own keychain, as well as some great handouts about Down syndrome and discussion points for living a #GenerationG life.  

We have received lots of positive feedback from teachers and parents and look forward to expanding this project to other elementary schools and beyond!

Thanks so much to Addams Elementary for collaborating with GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit this October, and being a part of our mission to change the way the world views people with Down syndrome!  

If you would like to start a “Kindness is Key” project for your school, business, or even just your family, please reach out to Kathleen Tynes at  

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1 Comment

  1. Carol on October 30, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Good job Everly, I’m real proud of you, my dear friend!

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