In Support of SB 612, March 17, 2015

Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella testified in Salem, Ore., on March 17, 2015, in support of SB 612, as part of Decoding Dyslexia Oregon’s contingent.

Empowering Parents at Bridger

Empowering Parents at Bridger

Parents are key to helping students with learning challenges. That’s why the Shadow Project is pleased to be one of many community partners participating in Bridger School’s first Community Summit on April 18.

The Bridger Community Summit runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the morning devoted to literacy, and the afternoon focused on helping Bridger parents connect with other families, learn about literacy programs within Portland Public Schools and Bridger, and offer input about where they’d like to see the school in future.

Shadow will host an interactive table, and be involved in an afternoon discussion for Bridger parents of children in the school’s learning center.

Reading Takes More than a Book

Reading Takes More than a Book
Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Nadia, preps a SuperSensory Literacy Space.

Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Nadia, preps a SuperSensory Literacy Space.

Imagine being a third grader who loves books, but doesn’t have the tools to read well. To help engage children with learning challenges, The Shadow Project will notch an Oregon first in May with the unveiling of a unique SuperSensory Literacy Space, as part of Portland Public Schools Read Together initiative.

Shadow’s SuperSensory Literacy spaces are a research-based collection of audio and print books, headphones, fidget toys, isometric seats, and other items designed to meet the needs of students who learn differently. Rosa Parks Elementary School in North Portland will pilot Shadow’s first SuperSensory Literacy Center, part of Portland Public Schools’ Read Together Third Grade Reading Initiative to help boost reading scores and strengthen literacy at five high-needs schools.

“This will be very exciting to the kids,” said Kim Giarelli, one of two Rosa Parks learning center teachers. “It will be great having a set, or series, of high-interest readable books. I think the sensory items will be very popular, especially the squishy items.”

We Love Our Volunteers!

We Love Our Volunteers!

While for many, spring break is about playing in the sun, 12 students from Whitman College spent a portion of their spring vacation in the Shadow Project’s warehouse, prepping books for the launch of our SuperSensory Literacy spaces.

The dozen Whitman students spent nearly three hours sorting books, placing labels on the books to differentiate between reading levels, and then boxing their work.

“I had a really great time working with The Shadow Project,” said Serena Runyon, an international relations major.

 

Dyslexia Bill has Shadow Support

Dyslexia Bill has Shadow Support

How do we help children with dyslexia overcome the shame, frustration, and defeat from struggling to read? In support of Decoding Dyslexia Oregon, Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella recently testified in Salem urging lawmakers to pass SB 612. 

Senate Bill 612 would require Oregon teachers in training at the university level to take coursework in dyslexia, for school districts to screen for dyslexia risk factors early, and for the Oregon Department of Education to have a dyslexia specialist on staff to help school districts tailor programs for young people with dyslexia.

“This bill is a wake up call to the fact that children learn differently,” said Scattarella, founder and executive director of The Shadow Project www.shadow-project.org. “We know that half of children in Oregon receiving special education services for learning-related disabilities including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism are not graduating with their peers. Currently, two-thirds of Oregon third-graders in special education do not meet reading benchmarks.

“We must give teachers the tools to identify and support children whose greatest risk is giving up. Or they’ll just keep giving up.”

Research shows that children with learning challenges like dyslexia are more likely to drop out of school, have trouble finding and maintaining employment, seek more social services, and are more likely to be incarcerated.

One in five Oregon students has dyslexia, according to Decoding Dyslexia Oregon.

You can sign Decoding Dyslexia Oregon’s petition in support of SB 612 at http://www.decodingdyslexiaor.org/

See moving testimony from Oregon Rep. Val Hoyle, one of the chief sponsors of SB 612, who spoke about her struggles with dyslexia.