All together we can read: A story of inclusive reading in Portuguese school libraries

MENDINHOS, Isabel and NOGUEIRA, António (2016) All together we can read: A story of inclusive reading in Portuguese school libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 202 - School Libraries.

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Language: English (Original)
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All together we can read: A story of inclusive reading in Portuguese school libraries

The School Libraries Network, the National Reading Plan and the Special Needs Office of the Ministry of Education designed a joint project called “All together we can read”. This national project of inclusive reading, carried out by school libraries, began in the school year of 2011.2012, with a pilot in the Lisbon Urban Area. The fundamental cornerstone of its action is the pedagogical collaboration between teacher librarians and Special Education teachers. School libraries play a central role as a vital resource in schools in the area of literacy, giving all the students access to books and ICT. However, having in mind the growing inclusion of students with special needs in regular schools, school libraries must respond to a school population with significantly diverse capacities, often requiring differentiated technological media of access to reading. To develop an inclusive culture and to promote school achievement it is imperative to create reading opportunities for ALL the students, whatever their needs may be. The main objectives of this project are: to equip school libraries with adequate resources, in different formats, accessible to students with special needs; to develop good practices in reading promotion, bearing in mind the students’ individual capacities and needs. To allow a better implementation of the project, schools are provided with several resources for the development of inclusive practices in school libraries, such as: a collection in accessible formats; educational software; supportive technologies. A web platform was created to share strategies, activities and pedagogical materials among school libraries in the area of inclusive reading. Since the creation of the project “All together we can read”, a growing number of school clusters and their school libraries have integrated the project, thus contributing to the benefit of their students with special needs and to the civic growth of the whole community.

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