SB612 Press Release

Contact:       Sydney Clevenger
sydney@shadow-project.org
(503) 502.7833

THE SHADOW PROJECT SUPPORTS SB 612

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee, with a hearing set for March 17 at 1 p.m. in Hearing Room C

March 16, 2015 (PORTLAND, OR) – The Shadow Project, a Portland, Ore., nonprofit partnering with special education teachers in 34 public schools to close the achievement gap, supports Senate Bill 612. The bill, “Relating to Dyslexia,” is chiefly sponsored by Senators Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) and Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay), and Reps. Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie) and Val Hoyle (D-Eugene/Junction City).

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

Senate Bill 612 ensures that Oregon teachers in training at the university level undergo required coursework on dyslexia, that school districts screen for dyslexia risk factors in the earliest grades, and that the Oregon Department of Education has a dyslexia specialist on staff to help school districts tailor programs for young people with dyslexia.

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.

“This bill is a wake up call to the fact that children learn differently,” said Christy 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.”

The Shadow Project, based in northeast Portland, was founded in 2003 by Scattarella, author of the award-winning children’s book, The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Black Heron Press, 2013), based on her dyslexic son’s journey from “I can’t” to “I CAN!” The Shadow Project has been vetted by the Harvard Business School of Oregon.

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