Free Community Event for Families, Educators & Friends

Free Community Event for Families, Educators & Friends

How can teachers and parents motivate their students with learning challenges to read? Join us at our hands-on free family event, as part of Dyslexia Awareness Month, and try out the latest tools that are empowering students to read and focus.

Step inside a cozy SuperSensory Space, and try out an audio-visual library that makes books come alive for struggling readers!

Celebrating Courageous Kids


Monday, Oct. 8, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.


The Oregon Public House
700 NE Dekum Street, 97211

Event Schedule

11:30 a.m.
Meet Timber Joey, Portland Timbers mascot and Shadow volunteer

1 p.m.
Read to Molly, the Therapy Dog

3 p.m.
Story Time with the author of The Boy Who Learned Upside Down

5 p.m.
Mingle with Star Wars characters

7 p.m.
Pub Trivia with prizes to the top teams

All Day
Purchase raffle tickets to win fabulous prizes from our generous contributors!

The Shadow Project is a Portland nonprofit that partners with 38 local schools to make the classroom a place where children who learn differently can thrive.

Can’t make the event? You can support our students by purchasing raffle tickets online and be entered to win tickets, food, wine, movie passes, and more! Tickets are $5 for one; $10 for 3; and $20 for 10, and proceeds support kids at our 38 schools.

Event Sponsors & Contributors

Thank you to our generous sponsors and contributors:

Learning Ally

Jubitz Corporation

Commerce Bank

Bob’s Red Mill
Guardian Games
Hollywood Theater
Las Primas Peruvian Kitchen
Oaks Park
Oregon Zoo
Por Qué No
Portland Children’s Museum
Portland Winterhawks
Portland Pastimes
Wiggle Room
Willamette Valley Vineyards Reserve


Dine at McMenamins Feb. 28 for Shadow Kids

Dine at McMenamins Feb. 28 for Shadow Kids

Mark your calendars!

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, the McMenamins at N.E. 15th & Broadway will donate 50% of all food and beverage sales to The Shadow Project.

McMenamins selected Shadow Project for its monthly Friends and Family night, which benefits local charities. Grab your friends and family and help us raise money for our children with learning challenges. All sales that evening qualify, whether you stay for a drink, order take-out, or come in a group.

McMenamins is open until 11 p.m., and we highly recommend the tater tots. Hope to see you there!


Thank You for Supporting our Children

Thank You for Supporting our Children

Thanks to the generosity of our individual donors, we met our holiday fundraising goal of bringing more learning tools to students with challenges. A special shout out to our recent foundation and corporation donors, and year-end matching partner!

The Autzen Foundation * The Collins Foundation * H.W. Irwin and D.C.H. Irwin Foundation * James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation * Siletz Charitable Contribution Fund * OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation * RE/MAX Equity Group Foundation * Juan Young Trust * Arlene Schnitzer

See our list of generous donors here.


Partnering with Schools for Inclusive Classrooms

Partnering with Schools for Inclusive Classrooms

To help instill calm and focus in children with learning challenges, The Shadow Project has provided more than 100 teachers in two school districts with sensory toolkits, and then trained them on introducing sensory tools in their classrooms.

Sensory tools are intended to build self-regulation, that is, helping children manage their behavior and thinking so they can listen, pay attention, and persevere through challenging or frustrating learning experiences. Nationally published research from Oregon State University found that at-risk children with stronger self-regulation skills score higher in reading than those with weaker regulation.

Shadow staff, in collaboration with occupational therapists, have trained more than 100 Portland area teachers on sensory tools for focus and calm in the classroom. The tool kits are a condensed version of the SuperSensory Literacy Spaces that Shadow has created for special education classrooms.

“These aren’t new tools,” says Jamie Lok, a behavioral classroom teacher at West Powellhurst Elementary in the David Douglas district. “But I now have a better understanding of why we need them. I love that I can teach students in my class how to use these tools, and that they will be available in other settings so they won’t look different to their peers. This is fantastic!”

Teachers received two-part trainings from The Shadow Project on introducing sensory tools into their classroom. Each teacher received a box of occupational therapist-approved handheld fidgets, a box of kinetic sand with tools, and an oversized comfortable chair.

Fifth Grade Woodmere Teacher Emily Kinney noticed that the tools are providing her students with better focus during silent reading. “All my kids used to sit quietly, but not all of them were reading,” she says. “Now, with the fidgets, I do notice an improvement in sustained focus, especially during reading and writing.”

In a 2017 evaluation of a sensory training pilot at Rosa Parks, 71% of teachers reported that their students who use sensory tools are less anxious; 50% reported students spend more time reading, and 62% noticed a reduction in disruptive classroom behavior.

“To introduce the tools, we talked about how a fidget is a toy if it is used the wrong way,” said Patrice Pierre, third grade teacher at Rosa Parks, who says 70% of her class this school year regularly use fidgets. “If I have to take it away for being a toy, I will stop the whole class and make that a teachable moment for everyone.

I think a lot of people expect that fidgets will just work. That’s not how we teach. I’m about giving them a chance because the fidgets really do help the kids. You have to see who it’s going to work for, and the kids who it won’t work for, and adjust.

“For us, it has become routine now. It may not work for everyone and that is a realization kids come to also. I wouldn’t have thought they would work so well for practically my whole class.

“I love fidgets. I’m for all of them.”


Shadow Employee Wins Ye? Ian Lima Award

Shadow Employee Wins Ye? Ian Lima Award

Spirit Mountain Community Fund selected The Shadow Project’s Alejandra Gurrola from its 11-county service area for the “Ye? Ian Lima” (Helping Hand) Award, for her dedication to children in special education.

Spirit Mountain Community Fund’s goal is to improve the quality of life in Northwest Oregon through community investments that provide lasting benefits consistent with the Tribe’s culture and values. The Helping Hand award is given annually to a non-manager staff member of a nonprofit organization, who motivates others, demonstrates dedication to mission, and/or inspires others to excel.

The Shadow office received a surprise visit in late December by Spirit Mountain Community Fund board chairman Sho Dozono, Executive Director Mychal Cherry, and Program Coordinator Angela Sears, presenting Shadow’s Program/Volunteer Coordinator with her award.

Alejandra was nominated by Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella:

“Using a specialized audio library and a coaching method she created to empower discouraged readers, Alejandra transforms how our students learn to read,” wrote Christy. “Third-grader Anna finished her first book. Sophie stopped “getting mad at school” over reading, calling herself “a courageous student” who doesn’t give up. Eric, a fourth grader who got called “stupid” for reading “baby books,” catapulted two grade levels. At one school, 18 coached students advanced, on average, by 1.4 grade levels.”

Added Christy: “Alejandra helps students set and meet reading goals, reaches out to parents in their native language, and invites them to celebrate their children’s reading success.

“We are so pleased that she is being recognized for her efforts.”