Shadow Kids are Reading Stars

Shadow Kids are Reading Stars

Caelen Reading Star (1)“Mom! I’m famous!” That’s how 4th grader Caelen Ough responded when he saw himself online as The Shadow Project’s first Reading Star! Caelen and his mom Kedma kicked off our Reading Stars initiative, which celebrates the reading progress of Shadow kids. (You may remember Caelen raised money to buy an IPad for his special education classroom last year.) Parents, we invite you to send a photo or short video of your child or your family reading together to shadow@shadow-project.org and we’ll post it our Facebook page. Parents can interview their child or simply have them describe a favorite book, character, or a triumph in reading progress.

Caelen read one of his favorite books he earned through The Shadow Project. It’s Mighty Max by Harriet Ziefert, which chronicles a young boy who, like Caelen, dreams big! Check out what Caelen has to say below:
The Shadow Project: Why do you like this book, and can you tell us a little about your favorite character?

COMighty Max is a regular kid who does regular things but thinks he is a super hero. He first pretends to be superman, then he pretends to be King Kong, and finally he pretends to be Evel Knievel. I like the book because it’s fun to pretend to be a superhero. If I was Max here are the three things I would pretend to be:

  1. I would pretend to be Spongebob Squarepants because he is funny and one of my favorite shows.
  2. I would pretend be Phineas from Phineas and Ferb because he and Ferb make really awesome inventions.
  3. Finally I would pretend to be Hiro from Big Hero 6 because I would have a personal robot to take care of me.

 

TSP: Those are some great characters! What do you love most about reading?
CO: What I love most about reading is that some books make me laugh, like Captain Underpants.

TSP: What’s the hardest thing about reading?
CO: Reading isn’t hard for me just writing.

TSP: Do you have a favorite place to read?
CO: My favorite place to read is at the Duniway Library. At home, it’s upstairs in my room.

TSP: Do you have anything you want to share with other children?
CO: If there is a kid out there that wants to read Mighty Max I would tell them it’s a funny book.

TSP: And finally, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you want to be when you grow up?
CO: My name is Caelen Ough. I am nine years old. I go to Duniway School. I am in the 4th grade and when I grow I want to be a technologist or an engineer.

Keep up the good work, Caelen! and most importantly, keep reading!

P.S. Contact us at shadow@shadow-project.org for more information or to submit your own Reading Star.

New Research Helps Our Students Turn Struggle into Success

New Research Helps Our Students Turn Struggle into Success

boy from Woodstock
Students in The Shadow Project are learning not to fear failure. Our teachers help students cultivate “growth mindset”, what cutting-edge research has identified as a key to motivation and achievement. Children with a growth mindset believe that their intelligence and ability grows through struggle, even failure – powerful news for students with disabilities, whose greatest risk is giving up. Students at Marysville School drew pictures of growth mindset, displaying their artwork in the hallways to share with classmates. Shadow provides teachers lesson plans and other materials on growth mindset and focused our most recent Professional Development seminar on the topic.

Research at the University of Chicago and suggests that mindsets can have a powerful impact on academic performance. It shows that students with a growth mindset tend to perform much better in the face of challenges and have higher academic performance. Growth Mindset is the belief that one’s ability and competence grow with one’s effort, rather than our capacity being a fixed entity. Students with a growth mindset believe that academic ability is changeable rather than being fixed at a particular level. Success depends on the strategies used and how much effort students put forth, rather than on innate ability, luck, or other factors beyond their control.

Having a growth mindset is particularly important for students with learning-related disabilities, because it equips them to persevere in the face of obstacles and develop academic habits that help them become successful readers, writers and critical thinkers. These habits serve our students for their entire lives!  Growth mindset has become an integral part of The Shadow Project program, providing teachers additional resources to help struggling students develop skills to become successful, long-term learners.

 

Reference:

Farrington, C. A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T. S., Johnson, D. W., & Beechum, N. O. (2012). Teaching adolescents to become learners. The role of noncognitive factors in shaping school performance: A critical literature review. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

 

Shadow Book Wins Award

Shadow Book Wins Award

Book award new size

The Boy Who Learned Upside Down has received the 2014 KART Kids Book List Award. Boy is based on the courageous journey of a Portland boy with learning disabilities who turned “I can’t” into “I CAN!” The KART (Kids are Readers Too) Foundation, which receives 2,000 nominations annually, selected 19 titles for its 2014 book list. The Foundation promotes and implements children’s literacy programs and provides programming in over 115 countries. Boy was written by Shadow founder and executive director Christy Scattarella and illustrated by Winky Wheeler.

Doubling Your Impact

Doubling Your Impact

G!G_2014
We’re honored to be chosen a fourth consecutive year for the Willamette Week Give!Guide, which runs through Dec. 31. The Shadow Project is our community’s only nonprofit that teams with special education teachers to close the achievement gap, and we’re counting on you to help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 to help our promising students turn “I can’t” into “I CAN!”  Donate $50 or more through the G!G and The Vibrant Village Foundation will match your gift, doubling your impact.

PetSmart Supports The Shadow Project!

PetSmart Supports The Shadow Project!

petsmart animals

We’d like to give a warm thank you to our friends at PetSmart and their customers for donating stuffed animals to The Shadow Project’s 1,500 children. We’ve been pairing each Lucky & Chance animal with a dog or cat book to engage struggling readers. This generous gift comes just in time for winter, when children can cuddle up with their new furry friend and lose themselves in a new book!