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Reed School Celebrates 'Danny Appreciation Day'



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Reed Intermediate School students were dressed less casually than normal on Friday, January 23, in honor of a Massachusetts boy the students learned about through a video online.

According to a , Danny Keefe of Bridgewater has apraxia, a motor speech disorder, and a flair for style. Each day, Danny dresses in a suit buttoned-down shirt and a tie, and is also known to wear a fedora. His fellow students acted in hurtful ways, according to the video.video created by ESPN’s SportsCenter

That, as ESPN’s SportsCenter featured last November, was when Danny’s big brother Tim and his football team, the Bridgewater Badgers, did something. Danny had been acting as the team’s water coach, and the team members, led by Tim and his best friend Tommy Cooney, decided to wear suits to support Danny.

“Danny Appreciation Day” was held in November 2013. The video describes Danny as having been picked up by a fire truck and driven to his big brother’s school where students were dressed in suits to support Danny.

When Reed sixth grade students in Matt Dalton and Petrice DiVanno’s cluster were thinking about how to celebrate the school’s January Spirit Day, Mr Dalton happened to share the video with his students.

The cluster had earned the ability to choose the January Spirit Day after raising the most collection items for the school’s food drive in November. The cluster collected 685 donation items for the school’s collection, which was overseen by the Reed Student Council and was donated for Women Involved In Newtown’s (WIN) Thanksgiving Baskets campaign.

Spirit days are held on the last Friday of each month, and the theme for the days is frequently chosen by the winners of different contests.

School Resource Officer Scott Smith first shared the video with the school, according to Mr Dalton and Ms DiVanno. When Mr Dalton later shared the video with his students to help teach the meaning of “grit,” which Ms DiVanno said is something he frequently likes sharing with his students, the cluster was inspired.

While some of the students on Friday said they went shopping specifically to purchase outfits for the day, some said they borrowed items from family members.

Reed Assistant Principal Jill Beaudry said she witnessed students throughout the school acting positively in support of the day.

Reed staffers also noted that the Danny Appreciation Day Spirit Day was possibly they most celebrated spirit day the school has held.

Ms DiVanno said she has never seen “such participation” at the school.

Reed Intermediate School sixth grade teachers Petrice DiVanno, standing back left, and Matt Dalton’s, standing right, cluster gathered together on Friday, January 23. The cluster wore fedoras and dressed up for a “Danny Appreciation Day” Spirit Day. Students also held a sign that read, “Newtown [hearts] Danny.”         
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