“Reading Lite-Artsy” Event Celebrates Inclusivity and Artistic Exploration

by Vince Ervin V. Palcullo, MAIS

In a heartwarming collaboration between the Henry Luce III Library, WorkAbilities and the College of Education through the Special Needs Education Society (SNeD Society), an inspiring event titled “Reading Lite-Artsy” took place at Central Philippine University’s Henry Luce III Library last March 7, 2024.  

The primary aim of this activity was to promote reading literacy infused with art for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Through a blend of literature and artistic expression, “Reading Lite-Artsy” sought to create an inclusive and enriching experience for all participants.  

Seven learners with ASD participated in the event, accompanied by dedicated students from the College of Education pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in Special Needs Education. Among them, four were actively engaged in a library immersion program, a vital partnership between WorkAbilities and the Henry Luce III Library which aimed at facilitating real-world integration and routine building for individuals with ASD. 

The ASD students were delighted with the reading session led by the SNED students, which involved captivating storytelling sessions. Afterward, they were given the opportunity to express their creativity through drawing based on the stories they had heard. This moment of artistic expression was truly heartwarming and charming for all involved, fostering a sense of joy and accomplishment. Additionally, the students had a quick sharing session about their artwork, allowing them to showcase their talents and share their experiences with others.  

The event was a celebration of literacy and art and a testament to the power of collaboration and support within the community. Ms. Cyra Morales, President of the SNeD Society, Iris Gaballo, Program Director of WorkAbilities, and Teacher Anna Gracia Cataluna from WorkAbilities played pivotal roles in organizing and facilitating the event. The Library team, comprised of dedicated librarians, also played an instrumental role in making the event possible.  

Dr. Merle L. Junsay, the Dean of the College of Education, Prof. Joan Iven Abello, head of the Special Needs Education Program, and Prof. Ma. Cynthia T. Peleña, Director of the University Library, expressed their appreciation for the event’s significance and the invaluable contributions of all involved.  

They were spearheaded by Prof. Vince Ervin V. Palcullo and Prof. Joan Iven Abello, with unwavering support from Ms. Cyra Morales, Iris Gaballo, Teacher Anna Gracia Cataluna, Dr. Merle L. Junsay, and Ma. Cynthia T. Peleña, “Reading Lite-Artsy” served as a shining example of collaborative efforts’ impact in fostering inclusivity, respect, and understanding within the community.