๐™ฑ๐šข ๐š†๐š’๐š•๐š•๐šข๐š— ๐™ป๐š’๐šฃ ๐™ฒ. ๐š‚๐šŠ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐šœ๐šŠ๐šŒ
๐™ผ๐šŠ๐šœ๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐šƒ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š› ๐™ธ๐™ธ
๐šƒ๐š›๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐š˜ ๐š†๐šŽ๐šœ๐š ๐™ฒ๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š• ๐™ด๐š•๐šŽ๐š–๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐šŠ๐š›๐šข
๐š‚๐™ฟ๐™ด๐™ณ ๐™ฒ๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š›
๐™ฐ๐š๐šž๐šœ๐šŠ๐š— ๐š๐šŽ๐š• ๐š‚๐šž๐š› ๐™ณ๐š’๐šŸ๐š’๐šœ๐š’๐š˜๐š—

(Lifted from The Naliyagan Gazette Special Issue Reading on Wheels (ROW), the official publication of DepEd Agusan del Sur, May 2021, edited for publication on this page).

๐—›๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€ ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—บ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ณ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—บ. ๐—›๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€, ๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—บ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—” ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ญ. ๐—›๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฟ๐—ต๐˜†๐˜๐—ต๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฝ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—บ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฝ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ด๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—บ.

This scenario captured my attention. It made me realize in a broader sense that each one learns in different ways. Others may question whether learners with special educational needs (LSENs) can still develop their reading skills. Yes, I believe their reading skills can still improve if addressed adequately.

Everything is possible for those who believe everyone is unique. It is why Trento West Central Elementary SPED Center initiated Project Friday Mania Overload, an innovation conceptualized in 2018. This project addresses the needs of LSENs, particularly in developing their adaptive and interpersonal skills and love for reading. It also includes a feeding program, adaptive sports, and storytelling activities.

How did we do it? In our storytelling activity, we used big story books and story videos. We focused on developing their skills in paying attention to details and sequencing events. We also helped them to think critically in their own way as we practiced the high-order thinking skills (HOTS) during the comprehension check.

How is the sequencing of events done? We used pictures in number recognition. We asked the learners to put the numbers below the pictures, then arrange these pictures according to a given order or sequence of events. We also motivated them to retell the story in their way. We also used other strategies.

Their reading skills may not compare to the regular learners, but we can visibly observe their love for reading in their active participation during the activities.

Gradually they learned as they started recognizing the names of the letters and producing their sounds, enabling them to relate to the stories on a personal level.

However, for them to achieve high-level reading skills and comprehension may be a long shot, but a miracle is still possible. “Don’t limit me,” says Megan, a child with Down Syndrome. She was saying that they can achieve more than what people might expect.

Megan’s powerful message tells us that LSENs can still learn in our regular classrooms, only that they need more help. All things being equal, their needs are the same as the other students.

Undeniably, no one can fathom the happiness we teachers feel whenever we see improvement in our learners’ reading skills, which inspires us to design more creative reading activities and strategies for them.

We are thankful that our partners and stakeholders have supported our reading advocacies in our school. Indeed, it takes a village to educate a child.

LSENs deserve equal access to education even though they have different learning capacities. They are unique learners, and they learn in their special ways.

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