REACHING THE UNSERVED AND THE UNDERSERVED: HATID DUNONG FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND OUT-OF-SCHOOL YOUTHS
Marween Terry E. Pascual
San Jose City Library & Information Center Email address: ter[email protected]hoo.com Abstract
The Hatid Dunong Program was conceptualized by a friend of the library, an outstanding San Josenian, Brig. General Rafael Rueda, Jr., back in 2012. The intended participants were the barangay folks and students of San Jose City schools in Nueva Ecija. To this day, it has evolved into an integral part of the outreach activity of the library.
The city library conducts Hatid Dunong to different barangays, especially in areas where there are a significant number of children with disability and out of school youth. Staff from the library personally visits the home of a child with disability who cannot afford to go to Special Education class. Library materials, such as books and educational toys, are provided during the outreach activity. Storytelling sessions, basic learning, and tutoring are conducted during home visits. This activity is done twice a week in six months. After the 6-month program, a thanksgiving and graduation day is held to recognize the efforts of the children and also the parents who have supported the program.
Another part of the Hatid Dunong program is in support with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the national government. The library was tapped by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to be a partner in carrying out the objective of SDG. Once a week, the library staff go to an identified slum area where storytelling and value formation classes are held. Children are gathered in an area where an informal class is conducted. The library staff become teachers for an hour or two to these children. Snacks are given after each class, thereby feeding not only the mind and spirit but also the body.
The Hatid Dunong programs of the City library has not only reached the unserved and underserved members of the society but have created awareness among the community of San Jose City.
Keywords: Hatid Dunong; outreach programs; city library