Thomas Jefferson Middle School cross country team goes the extra mile to support teammate with Down syndrome

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — There’s a sense of family at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Winston-Salem.

“The parents, the teachers, the principal, the kids, it`s just always been one big family,” said Betsy Pace, Thomas Jefferson Middle School cross country coach.

The sense of family is also shown through the school’s cross country team who always runs the extra mile.

“Everybody gets really excited when they hit their goal, and I just love that support, you know? People come in and run their race, and then they bring in the rest of their ‘family,'” said Cross Country Trainer Karren Simmons.

The team is made of 60 boys and more than 30 girls who all embrace everyone and that includes their teammate Davis Warren.

Davis is a 7th grader with Down syndrome. He’s a part of the running club and made the cross country team this year. He was excited to run with his friends.

Maggie Warren, Davis’s mom, was happy to see her son was embraced by his teammates. She posted a picture of Davis running across the finish line Monday afternoon with his teammates encouraging him to finish strong. She posted the picture and message on her Facebook page sharing with others the importance of inclusion and how kindness goes a long way.

“They ended up running another loop around the track just to be with him to get him to finish,” said Maggie Warren.

It’s the message of kindness and support  Maggie Warren believes is the ultimate win in life.

“He has a noticeable difference and people are kind to him, but sometimes people don`t know what your struggles are or differences are, and I just think it`s a kindness message really. We just need to be kind to everybody,” she said.

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