Expressing the motivation behind her story hour, which is offered through the Worcester Public Library, Horton said, “In high school, I was very involved in my library. I was involved in a program very similar to this.”
“Autistic children, like all children of special needs, are welcomed and encouraged to go to any story hour at all public libraries,” she continued. “But for these children and their parents, being comfortable is important to the experience,” the Telegram & Gazette added. “And being in a group of children who have similar challenges and whose parents understand those challenges can make everyone more comfortable.”
Ann Hrobsky, the Worcester Public Library’s head children’s librarian, expressed gratitude for Horton’s efforts. “To be able to offer a really specialized service like this is wonderful,” Hrobsky said. “[We] don’t necessarily have the specialized expertise.”
A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Horton also participates in Big Brothers/Big Sisters on campus. Commenting on what drives her to work with children, and with children with special needs, she said, “I want to make sure they have the equal opportunity.”
This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.