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Riverview Elementary gives Dimes for Downs
Dimes for Downs pic
Wyatt Corn, one of the special needs students in Debbie Taubers pre-K class, stands in front of a Dimes for Downs poster at Riverview Elementary. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and to celebrate, Riverview Elementary is giving dimes away.

Debbie Tauber, a preschool teacher at Riverview Elementary, took it upon herself to raise awareness throughout the school for what some of her students go through each day.

"Our school has taken on the "S.P.A.R.K." attitude, which stands for service, pride, attitude, respect and kindness," Tauber said. "Pre-K has adopted the service project Dimes for Downs, since October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month."

Tauber said she and her class went to each classroom in the school and put jars in the rooms to collect the dimes.

"Our children went around and they took these jars to each person, we told them a little bit about Dimes for Downs and what Downs was," she said. "All the money is going to the Atlanta Association of Down Syndrome to help with research and families with Downs."

Riverview Principal Julia Mashburn said she noticed the students getting active right away.

"Almost immediately, when the jars went out, students gave up their ice cream money for the day. They chose, themselves, to put their money in the jar rather than buy an ice cream treat," she said. "They know they are giving to a good cause and they see the benefits of that cause in the building every day. It's a relevant cause to them."

The two-week drive began Sept. 30 and ends Thursday. As of Monday, the drive had raised $384.

"I'm real proud of all the classes. It's really through doing this and my kids going around, everybody in the hallways now know my kids' names," Tauber said. "They now stop and say hi to them and high-five them. It's really brought us all together."

Mashburn said that it was this type of reaction from the students that Riverview's new motto was all about.

"Our whole mantra is ‘ a spirit of service.' We really believe that, in serving others, we learn a lot about ourselves," she said. "All of these character traits, we are trying to build in our students at an elementary age."

The event will close Thursday with the whole school wearing blue and yellow to show support of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.