December 2012 Newsletter

December 2012 Newsletter
Newsletter • December 2012
The Shadow Project
Cameron
You’re learning. You’re accomplishing everything.
— Cameron, student at Harrison Park School

The Shadow Project is awesome. It helps kids in special ed realize they have what it takes to succeed. I started in The Shadow Project at Duniway School in 2nd grade and recently graduated from college. It really made a difference in my life! –Alex Scattarella
Alex’s post to Umpqua Bank‘s Joy of Giving Facebook contest earned The Shadow Project $1,000! Many thanks to Umpqua and to everyone who shared their Shadow stories!

 

GG Logo
Help The Shadow Project reach our goal of raising $20,000 to empower students in special education. Incentives from Stumptown Coffee, Animalia Designs, Susan Goodwin Jewelry and Tastebud Wood Fired Pizza, to name a few! Stay tuned for your chance to win! Donate HERE.

 

Boys
Learn three easy ways to promote greater understanding of students with special needs. Send us your ideas. We want to hear from you!

 

Sharing Their Accomplishments

We are proud of the wonderful

Video
Watch Harrison Park students share their success

strides students in The Shadow Project are making to meet their academic and social goals. At Harrison Park in Southeast Portland, Shannon Cooper’s 60 hard-working students are becoming enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy school, turn in homework and take the opportunity to give to others. “Not only are my students developing strong a work ethic, they’re developing empathy and caring for each other,” says Shannon. “And they wanted to say thank you.”

 

Only $6,000 Shy of our Goal!
Your year-end gift will ensure we reach our goal of raising $20,000 through the Willamette Week Give!Guide to empower The Shadow Project’s 1,300 amazing students to succeed in school. The Miller Foundation will be matching new and increased gifts of $100 and up – more than $6,000 to date! Plus, there are still great incentives to be earned. Click here to check them out! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and inspiring stories.

 

Every Child Counts
Read the Oregonian’s Guest Commentary by Shadow’s Executive Director and learn three simple things we can all do to help Oregon’s 74,000+ special education students succeed. Do you have ideas to raise awareness and appreciation for these remarkable students? Send your ideas to: shadow@shadow-project.org and help us spread the word on Facebook.

 

Thank You for Making a Difference

  • The Stimson Miller Foundation is helping The Shadow Project build its capacity through a $10,000 grant that will help us strengthen school district partnerships and implement recommendations from the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon.
  • The Charlotte Martin Foundation awarded Shadow a grant of $5,000 to increase educational opportunities for our 200 students in five McMinnville elementary and middles schools.
  • The Standard Charitable Foundation awarded Shadow $5,000 to provide copies of The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Black Heron Press, 2013) to distribute to many low-income students in our program. Boy tells the Shadow story and celebrates the courage and accomplishments of children with learning challenges. Illustrated by Winky Wheeler, the 40-pg picture storybook will be published next fall.
  • The City of Hillsboro has provided $2,000 to support Shadow’s expansion to Mooberry Elementary, where The Shadow Project is serving 35 students.
  • Thank you to Portland Public Schools employees for supporting The Shadow Project. We were honored to be part of the district’s Fall Giving Campaign for the first time!

 

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City of Portland’s 2011 “Making a Difference” Award in Education

The Shadow Project
Toll free: 1-888-747-0005
Email: Shadow@shadow-project.org
www.shadow-project.org

Thank You from Harrison Park Students

We are proud of the wonderful strides students in The Shadow Project are making to meet their academic and social goals. At Harrison Park in Southeast Portland, teacher Shannon Cooper’s 60 hard-working students are becoming enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy school, turn in homework and take the opportunity to give to others. “Not only are my students developing a strong work ethic, they’re developing empathy and caring for each other,” says Shannon. “And they wanted to say thank you.” The Shadow Project is a Portland based nonprofit that supports special education classrooms in 28 schools, helping 1,300 bright and talented children discover their potential and turn “I can’t” into “I CAN!” You can change a child’s life today by supporting us through the Willamette Week Give!Guide (Click “Donate Now” and find us under “Education”)

December 2012 Oregonian

December 2012 Oregonian

The Oregonian published an editorial about The Shadow Project:

Click http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/12/close_the_achievement_gap_for.html to view the original article on the OregonLive website in a larger window.

 


Or read a copy of the article below:

Close the achievement gap for special education kids

December 7, 2012
By Christy Scattarella
In the recent article on Oregon’s dismal diploma tally, a promising group of students with the state’s lowest on-time graduation rate was conspicuous by its near absence (“State ranks near back of class in graduation,” Nov. 28).
At 74,000-plus, special education students constitute Oregon’s fourth-largest school-age population, but in 2011 fewer than one in two (42 percent) of these youngsters graduated with their class. That’s considerably lower than the 54 percent of African American and 58 percent of Latino graduates cited in the article. Oregon ranks seventh worst in the nation for graduating special education students. By contrast South Dakota awarded diplomas to a whopping 84 percent of its students with special needs.
Another 10 percent of our students did earn what’s known as a modified, or special education, diploma. Much as I’d like to include them in graduation rates, Uncle Sam won’t let me: When calculating high school graduates, the federal government essentially lumps these students in with the dropouts. In other words, they don’t count.
Children with barriers to learning, such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism and communications disorders, do count. Their struggles matter, and so do their accomplishments. All too often they get left out of discussions aimed at helping at-risk children. More than once I’ve heard, “Well, what can you expect?”
We can expect a lot. As the director of a nonprofit that teams with special educators to help close the achievement gap and as the parent of a recent college graduate who was in special ed from first grade on, I know that children with learning differences have enormous potential.
Here are three simple things we can all do to shine the spotlight on our most vulnerable children and help them succeed.
Recognize their courage. As long as the term “special education” remains code for “there’s something wrong with you,” these children will continue to be diminished. I am forever haunted by Josh, a bullied third-grader who told his teacher, “I’m so stupid I wish I’d never been born.” It’s time to replace shame and stigma with appreciation. Let’s celebrate the differences that make all of us unique.
Understand they have what it takes. Children in special education are as diverse as the rest of the population. Whether they have a genius IQ or an intellectual disability, they are all capable. They simply learn differently.
Make them part of the equation. Include them in every discussion and initiative designed to better the graduation rate.
Yes, children with learning differences stumble more than the average kid. Their struggle to read, to write and to belong can become too much. And as the statistics attest, they often give up, on school and on themselves. But our collective belief in their potential can become their belief.
I have seen what happens when these students persevere. I have seen them develop an inner fortitude and depth of spirit that cannot be measured on a standardized test but will serve them and their community well — for a lifetime.
Count on that.
Christy Scattarella is the founder and executive director of The Shadow Project, a nonprofit named for her son’s dog that has teamed with special ed teachers to help more than 6,500 children become confident, engaged learners. She is also the author of “The Boy Who Learned Upside Down” (Black Heron Press, 2013).