May 2016 Newsletter

In the May edition of our newsletter, find out about recent student success and learning initiatives:

  • “Shadow Motivates Me to Work Hard”
  • Shadow Expands to Advance Equity
  • From “8 to H.S.” Using a Growth Mindset
  • “Why I Give to The Shadow Project”

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February 2016 Newsletter

The February edition of our newsletter includes the following:

  • Three Shadow Schools in Reading Contest
  • Shadow: 10,000 Children Served and Growing
  • Jerry Takes on Third Grade at Sitton
  • Shadow Student Receives Rigor Award

View the full newsletter.

October 2015 Newsletter



Young Writer Chronicles Reading Efforts


People think reading is easy. For some people, reading is hard. So says, Mia Hayes, 10, a fourth grader at Stephenson Elementary in The Shadow Project, who recently chronicled her struggles with reading, due to ADHD and anxiety.

“It’s okay if people think you are weird,” writes Mia in an inspiring book she wrote and read out loud last school year, Differences, to help others with learning challenges. “It’s okay, because you are special for who you are. I have had problems, and I know how you feel. But people change. Your problem could get solved just like that!

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Goal Setting a Focus of Shadow Seminar


One highlight for special education teachers at The Shadow Project’s recent professional development seminar was hearing from longtime Portland Public Schools’ educator Paula Fahey, M.S., on ways to easily incorporate goal setting into their curriculums.

“I was already using incentives to boost academics, but The Shadow Project is different,” said Paula, who began using the program when she was at Markham Elementary in early 2000. “I like the formality of sitting down with the children one day each month to set goals, and then to reward them for achieving their goals.”

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Gift of Audio Books Honors Late Sister


Courtney Bunfill was an aspiring special education teacher in Klamath Falls, when she died unexpectedly in September 2009. In honor of their sister’s passion and energy for children, Courtney’s three siblings—led by Portlander Kiki Grant—founded Court’s Kids to help children in special education classrooms receive new reading materials.

Kiki read The Shadow Project’s late August newsletter with a story about Rosa Parks’ Isaac, who is now hooked on reading thanks to audio books, and emailed right away. “The Shadow Project is doing wonderful things, and I saw a way we could help,” said Kiki, who persuaded her siblings to donate nearly $4,700 to The Shadow Project.

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Five-Star Rating for Boy Book

BookCoverThe Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Heron Press, 2014) was recently chosen for a written review and KART book rating on the organization’s website. Boy, written by The Shadow Project’s Executive Director and Founder Christy Scattarella, M.A., received a five-star rating.

“This exciting, real-life story of a boy’s brave journey of determination is sure to interest and inspire any child who experiences difficulty with reading,” says the website. “The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is also a good book for siblings and classmates of reading-challenged children as it graphically describes what it’s like to overcome obstacles when learning to read and to spell.”

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August 2015 Newsletter

Back to School Edition

August 2015


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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June 2015 Newsletter


June 2015

Shadow Salutes its Graduates

It’s graduation season! We’d like you to meet Chandler, a Marysville School student in the Shadow Project for two years, who is graduating from eighth grade. Struggling with ADHD, Chandler never liked to read. But then he earned a book through the Shadow Project that taught him how to play the harmonica … and he changed his mind about the printed word.


Oregon’s First Super Space Launched

Unveiling of The Shadow Project’s unique SuperSensory Literacy Space at Rosa Parks Elementary, the first of its kind in Oregon, continues to make ripples around the state, thanks to recent press coverage. Special education teachers are calling to receive Shadow services, parents of students in special education are touring Rosa Parks, and children in special education are appreciating the unique, compact, multi-sensory library tailored to their needs.


Learning Ally Saves the Day

Chief Joseph/Ockley Green Speech-Language Pathologist Moira Finnegan, MS, CCC-SLP, remembers well the seventh grader struggling with dyslexia who would not read. Despite his parents’ attempts at finding the right book to interest him in reading, the boy had never picked up a book on his own. But when Finnegan learned his family was going on a week long road trip, she loaded the audio version of Hunger Games onto an app through The Shadow Project-provided Learning Ally, and voila! The boy was hooked on reading.


Shadow Welcomes New Program Manager

Quynh Nguyen has joined The Shadow Project as its program manager, overseeing the organization’s partner schools, including service development, delivery, and evaluation. Quynh has 18 years of experience in program management, community engagement, and is a former special education teacher.


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