Oregonian on SuperSensory Literacy Space expansion

<em>Oregonian</em> on SuperSensory Literacy Space expansion

The Oregonian recently published a story about The Shadow Project’s new grants, enabling expansion of its research-based SuperSensory Literacy Spaces:

http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2015/08/the_shadow_project_to_add_8_ne.html

Or view the edited print version below
2015-08-30

The Shadow Project to add new literacy spaces for special needs students at Portland schools

Rosa Parks SuperSensory Literacy Space The sensory tools include toys students can hold while reading. The Shadow Project recently launched a SuperSensory Literacy Space at Rosa Parks Elementary School. The reading area has materials like fidgets and headphones to help students with learning disabilities. (Laura Frazier/The Oregonian)

Laura Frazier | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Laura Frazier | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 31, 2015 at 5:00 AM, updated August 31, 2015 at 5:03 AM

Education non-profit The Shadow Project plans to add sensory literacy spaces at multiple Portland schools this year with funding from recent grants.

The Shadow Project works with special education teachers to help boost achievement for students with learning disabilities. The nonprofit launched a pilot program last year in partnership with Portland Public Schools to create reading areas especially designed for students with special needs. The SuperSensory Literacy Spaces include tools such as noise canceling headphones, kinetic sand and fidgets, which are small toys that students can hold.

The Shadow Project is aiming to increase its student population by 20 percent within the next three years, said Christy Scattarella, founder and executive director. Key initiatives include adding more reading spaces and offering parent workshops and teacher trainings.

The nonprofit recently received a two-year $170,000 grant from Vibrant Village Foundation, according to spokeswoman Sydney Clevenger. The Shadow Project has also recently received smaller grants including approximately $13,000 from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The Vibrant Village Foundation also awarded a two-year grant to the Shadow Project in 2013.

“The two-year operations grant from Vibrant Village Foundation will build The Shadow Project’s capacity to serve additional children in high-needs schools with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and expand program services,” Scattarella said.

Starting with Chief Joseph/Ockley Green K-8 School, new sensory literacy spaces will added at James John Elementary, Peninsula K-8 School, Faubion K-8 School, Sitton Elementary and Woodlawn K-8 School, according to Clevenger.

–Laura Frazier

lfrazier@oregonian.com
503-294-4035
@frazier_laura

August 2015 Newsletter

TheShadowProject
Back to School Edition

August 2015

Learning-Ally

Empowering with Audio Books

What happens when young readers find an unknown word in their book? If they’re like 10-year-old Isaac at Rosa Parks School they used to skip it. Enter Learning Ally, the online audio library that enables children with disabilities to highlight and repeat unfamiliar words out loud. This school year, The Shadow Project is bringing audio libraries to eight high-needs schools.

Read More

Spelling

Setting a Higher Bar

Imagine a student balking at reading because her family was on welfare and “that was all she would ever need.” That’s what happened to Heather Freeman, M.S., a special education teacher who used The Shadow Project’s goal setting to change the girl’s academic mindset. According to newly released results of our 2015 annual Teacher Survey on Student Impact, 92 percent of teachers report that The Shadow Project motivates students who have historically shown low interest in school.

BookCover 2

Fostering Courageous Readers

Hear Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella, M.A., read from her award-winning children’s book, The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Black Heron Press, 2014), and discuss the critical role of courage in the classroom, in a national webinar hosted by Learning Ally, the world’s largest provider of audio books for children with disabilities.

Read More

ArielleSchnitzer 3

Modeling Success

For children with learning challenges, the biggest risk is giving up in the classroom. Unfortunately, these students rarely have the chance to hear from other young people who’ve been in their shoes. That’s why we’re grateful for longtime Shadow Project volunteer Arielle Schnitzer, who talks candidly in this video about her ADD and dyslexia, and offers hope for younger students.

Read More

Sharks

Win a Book and a Beanie!

We’ve heard from many of you that beanie babies and books naturally go together. The beanies are a great incentive for children who set and reach their literacy and social-emotional goals, and the animals’ soft, squishy texture provides a nice fidget while kids read.

Read More

Donate Now

 

Fostering Courageous Readers

Hear Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella, M.A., read from her award-winning children’s book, The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Black Heron Press, 2014), and discuss the critical role of courage in the classroom in a national webinar hosted by Learning Ally, the world’s largest provider of audio books for children with disabilities.

Boy is available as an audio book through Learning Ally and the print version is available at Amazon. All proceeds from the print version of Boy benefit children in The Shadow Project.

Empowering Children with Audio Books

Empowering Children with Audio Books

What happens when young readers find an unknown word in their book? If they’re like 10-year-old Isaac at Rosa Parks School they used to skip it. Enter Learning Ally, the online audio library that enables children with disabilities to highlight and repeat unfamiliar words out loud. This school year, The Shadow Project is bringing audio libraries to eight high-needs schools.

“It’s easy,” said Isaac, a quiet fifth grader who loves math, drawing, and basketball. “If you get stuck on a word, the program reads it to you, and that helps you remember the word.”

Children with disabilities often “read with their ears,” so audio books are great for gaining exposure to new vocabulary and language structures.

“Think about how powerful it is for a struggling reader to have the opportunity to not only identify a word they may be unfamiliar with, but to remedy it discreetly,” said Kim Giarelli, M.S., special education teacher at Rosa Parks. “With the word being repeated to the student, it is more likely they will learn and remember it.”

Learning Ally is part of Rosa’s new SuperSensory Literacy Space developed by The Shadow Project in May, as part of Portland Public Schools’ Read Together initiative. Isaac has found refuge in the Sensory Space, with his stuffed panther friend (photo), and now gravitates to a special fidget and a vibrating pillow while doing grammar sheets.

“It helps me work,” said Isaac. “This is a quiet place to come so I won’t get distracted. The pillow reminds me to focus, and the fidget keeps my hands from touching things other than my paper.”

Kim said increased self-awareness about his learning needs has greatly improved Isaac’s school attendance. “He is the classic kid who got discouraged because he thought he couldn’t do the work,” she said. “Now he knows that he can do it, and he’s really trying.”Isaac

Support a child like Isaac at www.shadow-project.org.

Win a Book and a Beanie!

Win a Book and a Beanie!

We’ve heard from many of you that beanie babies and books naturally go together. The beanies are a great incentive for children who set and reach their literacy and social-emotional goals, and the animals’ soft, squishy texture provides a nice fidget while kids read.

You can win a new beanie and book from The Shadow Project! We’ll be giving away prizes occasionally for Facebook friends. Like us today at (https://www.facebook.com/shadowprojectpdx) and watch for contest information.