Northwest Health Foundation and partners advance equity for children in special education

Northwest Health Foundation and partners advance equity for children in special education

The Health & Education Fund will strengthen parent voices in advocating for children with learning challenges through a grant to The Shadow Project

The Shadow Projecthas received a $19,500 grant from the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) and its Health & Education Fund partners: CareOregon, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Oregon Community Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente Northwest. The partners work collaboratively to address root causes of health and education disparities for underserved populations, prioritizing innovative and effective practices that build community capacity and resilience.

“Equitable education in childhood leads to better health throughout a person’s life,” said Michael Reyes, NWHF Community Engagement Officer. “Too often, children of color, children from families struggling to make ends meet, and children with disabilities don’t receive an equitable education. That’s why we’re excited to fund The Shadow Project.”

The Shadow Project will harness the strengths of opportunity communities to make school an inclusive place where children with conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism can thrive and belong. In Oregon, 79 percent of children with disabilities do not meet the milestone of third-grade reading proficiency that predicts high school graduation.

“Parent voice is urgently needed to increase educational equity for these promising students,” said Shadow Project Executive Director Christy Scattarella. “This project will build the leadership capacity of parents to drive our program delivery and create a unified voice for change.” The organization will convene at least two community gatherings that bring together Shadow’s network of parents and educators with organizations that have their own strong networks of parent advocates, including Decoding Dyslexia Oregon.

“When parents advocate for their children’s education, their children will experience better health their whole lives,” said Reyes.

Northwest Health Foundation seeks to advance, support, and promote health in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

CareOregon Makes Grant to Shadow

The Shadow Project is one of CareOregon’s latest grantees, and will expand trauma-informed care for students with disabilities. Read the full story here.

Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund Makes Reading More Engaging for Children in Special Education

Students in Portland and Yamhill County schools will receive tailored books and reading tools through a grant awarded to The Shadow Project.

The Shadow Project, a nonprofit that partners with primarily low-income schools to foster academic success 1,600 students with disabilities, has received a $7,000 grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund.

The Siletz gift will enable The Shadow Project to distribute more than 3,000 books that mirror the cultural and learning backgrounds of diverse learners, whose challenges include dyslexia, ADHD and autism. The Shadow Project will also equip select schools with audio-visual libraries designed for readers who struggle with print text, making books come alive for children who do not read the traditional way.

Shadow Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella, M.A., received the grant at a November 2 ceremony at Chinook Winds. “School should not be a place of shame and frustration,” said Scattarella. “The Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund is ensuring that students in special education have access to the books and reading technology tailored to the way they learn, so they can read and achieve.”

The Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund is the philanthropic arm of The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, distributing grants to non-profit organizations and local governments in 11 counties, and to Native American organizations and activities. Since its inception in 1999, the Siletz Charitable Contribution Fund has distributed more than $11.3 million in grant awards.

Download the full release here. (PDF)

Spirit Mountain Community Fund to Advance Equity for Children with Learning Challenges

A $35,000 grant to The Shadow Project will help children with disabilities like dyslexia and autism thrive, and achieve their potential.

The Shadow Project, a 15-year-old nonprofit committed to making school more accessible and engaging for children with learning challenges has received a one-year, $35,000 grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund. Shadow Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella, M.A., received the grant in a September ceremony in Grand Ronde.

“The strength of our local partnerships is something we take pride in,” said Mychal Cherry, Spirit Mountain Community Fund executive director. “It’s an honor and a privilege to support an organization like The Shadow Project that makes it possible for children with learning disabilities to meet and exceed their full academic potential.”
The majority of the children in The Shadow Project are from low-income homes and communities of color. The Spirit Mountain grant gives them personalized learning experiences such as reading mentors who use a specialized audio-visual library to make books comes alive, sensory spaces where children can find calm and focus, and a goal-setting program that motivates discouraged learners.

“Because of Spirit Mountain’s generosity, our children have tools tailored to the way they learn, teachers equipped to support them, and a sense of belonging in school that sets them on a path of pride and accomplishment,” said Scattarella. “Many of the students we serve have been ready to give up—on school and on themselves—and their perseverance and determination inspire me daily.”
The Spirit Mountain Community Fund is the philanthropic arm of The Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, distributing $78,610,930 in grants to non-profit organizations in 11 counties, government agencies in Polk and Yamhill counties, and the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon, to improve the quality of life in Northwest Oregon.

Download the full release here. (PDF)

New Program Manager for The Shadow Project

Sharon Juenemann has joined The Shadow Project as its program manager, overseeing the organization’s partner schools, including service development, delivery, and evaluation. Sharon was longtime program director for Mt. Hood Community College’s federal prep and access grant (TRIO) for low-income students seeking higher education. Most recently, she was interim director of TRIO at Portland Community College.

Sharon has a master of arts in adult education from Oregon State University, and a bachelor of arts in English from Lewis & Clark College. She has 20 years teaching experience including English as a Second Language for Non-Native Speakers, instructional Spanish, and EvenStart Family Literacy.

“Sharon’s passion for changing educational systems so they truly benefit all children, as well as personal experience with special education in Portland will greatly benefit our organization as we strategically standardize and grow our programs to serve more schools and children,” said Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella.

The Shadow Project’s mission is to make school more accessible and engaging for children with learning challenges, so they can achieve their full potential.
By equipping classrooms with innovative tools and strategies tailored to diverse learning needs, The Shadow Project has teamed with schools to foster success for more than 10,000 students who typically read one- to three-years below grade level, and have challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.

View or download the full release. (PDF)