from Darien Patch:
About the only thing nine-year-old Sara Davis isn't is idle.
The 3rd grader with Down Syndrome at Concord Elementary in Darien and resident of unincorporated Downers Grove is a swimmer, cheerleader, basketball player, dancer and Special Olympic medalist equestrian rider. And now, for the third year in a row, she's a calendar model.
Sara shares the month of February with her friend David in the 2012 Celebrating Differences calendar, a calendar and organization created to promote abilities over disabilities in area youth. Celebrating Differences, a not-for-profit out of Oswego, was created in 2007 to provides resources, educational workshops, networking and other services for children with special needs.
“It's for kids with all kinds of disabilities,” Sara's mom Marcy said. “That's important because our community is more than just one type of disability.”
For Sara, the calendar is just one activity on a list of many that keeps her—and her mom—busy on a daily basis. On Monday, it's horseback riding at the Hanson Center Barn in Burr Ridge. On Wednesdays, Sara does gymnastics at Elite Gymnastics. Thursday is dance at Expressions Dance Studio in Westmont, and Saturdays are a split between cheerleading on the Believe team out of Naperville and Special Olympics basketball. And whenever she can, Sara squeezes in swimming. That's not to mention the homework—Sara's current favorite subject is spelling, though she changes her opinion on a regular basis—Sara gets from school, either. Add all that up and you get a good idea of how active Sara is. Oh, and she also likes going to church on Sundays.
“She's a very smart, eager and fun-loving girl who wants to be part of her community,” Marcy said.
Sara got interested in the Special Olympics this year after seeing her friend David participate and win a lot of medals. In her first year participating, she's already a medalist, taking a bronze medal in September in the Equitation class, which was a series of skills courses combined with managing and walking her horse.
“She's just like everyone else and wants to be doing whatever everyone else does,” Marcy said.
If you'd like to purchase a Celebrating Differences 2012 calendar, you can do so by following this link.