Shadow Expands to Advance Equity

Shadow Expands to Advance Equity

Photo: Students in The Shadow Project use audiobooks to access the material their peers are reading, part of Shadow’s comprehensive new model.

Most children in special education in Oregon now spend at least 80 percent of their day in the general education classroom. That’s one reason why The Shadow Project is expanding to provide inclusive, full-day support for students with learning challenges, and outreach to their families.

“Children succeed when they have tools tailored to their diverse learning needs at school, after school, and at home,” said Christy Scattarella, M.A. “We are deeply committed to supporting schools in increasing educational opportunities for children with learning challenges, who are diverse in race, culture, and socio-economic status.”

To that end, The Shadow Project is piloting new programming at six Portland schools, with SuperSensory Literacy Spaces containing audiobooks that give students access to the same reading materials as their peers.

Over the next three years, Shadow will supplement its special education literacy center-based program with a more comprehensive, culturally responsive service model that brings together principals, special education and general education teachers, occupational therapists, parents, and community partners to support students with learning challenges.

For example, Shadow will provide family workshops that teach parents how to access the audiobook library at home, so that children can confidently complete homework and read for fun.

“With its focus on parent engagement and inclusion, Shadow’s emerging program aligns with local and national priorities and research about improving outcomes for children at risk,” said Christy. “Our vision is for all children with dyslexia, ADHD, autism, and other challenges to have the support they need to succeed in school.”

The Shadow Project currently serves 1,600 students in 35 predominantly Title I schools in Portland, East Multnomah County, and McMinnville.

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