Stuent council backs 5th grader's plea to back Rett Syndrome research


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Hilltop Country Day School believes that leading is an action verb. From the monthly community service projects to food and toy drives around the holidays, Hilltop has been serving its neighbors for decades. Central to Hilltop’s mission is the notion of giving back and developing leaders who will think globally, but act locally. The 2018-2019 school year is no different.

Last year Hilltop’s Student Council introduced “Dress Down Fridays” as a way to build school spirit, dress comfortably, and to benefit a local non-profit. Hilltop raised over $5,000 for the March of Dimes during the 2017-2018 school year thanks to this weekly initiative. Student Council President Charlotte Mignone just announced that Hilltop’s funds this year will go to support research for Rett Syndrome, a rare non-inherited genetic postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls. Rett leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of the child’s life: their ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe easily.

The Student Council voted to support this cause unanimously due, in large part, to the Easton family, a current Hilltop family. Sammy Easton, a Hilltop 5th grader, has been personally impacted by Rett Syndrome because his younger sister was diagnosed at a young age. Sammy has become an incredible advocate for Rett Syndrome research and is, frankly, a wonderful older brother.

Liz Easton, Sammy’s mother, notes, “We are so incredibly grateful to Hilltop Country Day School for choosing to support the Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) this year. Our daughter, Josephine (everyone calls her Fifi), suffers from Rett Syndrome, which is a devastating neurological disorder that affects 350,000 girls and women worldwide. Fifi, who is 8 years old, can no longer speak or walk independently or use her hands the way she wants, but her happy, sweet personality and infectious giggle charm everyone she meets.”

Perhaps most important is that experts indicate that a cure is within reach. Rett Syndrome has been reversed in lab mice, and scientists believe it can be cured in humans, too. President Mignone hopes that these funds will inch researchers just a bit closer towards finding that cure.

Hilltop Country Day School is Sussex County’s only independent school serving students in grades Preschool through 8. Hilltop’s focus on project-based pedagogical approach allows students to see the real world relevance of their education. Hilltop Country Day School provides the strong foundations necessary for inspired futures.



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