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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am proud of myself because I'm doing better in class and staying focused. I used to have a hard time with my attitude but I'm doing better now. I'm 13 and I have done the Shadow Project since I was six. The Shadow Project is wonderful. I hope to be like you guys and help kids out someday.