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A Rainbow of learning is a wonderful collaboration of creative inspiration from the students of Scoil Bernadette / Cope Foundation Montonotte Cork & Shine, The Irish Progressive Association for Autism with cork city library hosting the event. It was my pleasure to facilitate this unique project with the students as they clearly demonstrated their understanding of how the library can have such an important role in all our lives.

The paintings created in this book were worked on over two days and each student participated with enthusiasm and a sense of great fun. We discussed the facilities at the library and how its role had changed so much over the years. The students were surprised to find so many new technologies now operating that it was easy for them to source inspiration for their paintings. Many of the teenagers remembered coming to the library with their parents or guardians as small children and created images based on these memories; others looked around them and drew from what they saw. Teenagers have few places to go these days but they all agreed that with books, computers and music all under the one roof that there was plenty for them to do in a safe and friendly environment.

Each of their paintings is a personal response to this project and we hope that this book will serve as an educational tool for others to see what an impact reading can have and how creative it can be. Reading can still conjure up infinite images in the mind even in this age of technology and this workshop allowed the students to express these, and share them with many generations of children and adults to come.

I would like to acknowledge the cooperation of all the students at Scoil Bernadette, their teacher Emma Darby, Patricia Looney & Breda Hassett at the library and Kieran Kennedy from Shine for sponsoring this innovative event.


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