A mother, Rebecca, and son, John, smiling and playing with a small dog

“It’s a chance to partner with your child”

Rebecca Green is an active volunteer with The Shadow Project as well as a donor, but she first got to know about us as a parent to a Shadow Project student, John. In early elementary school, Rebecca Green knew something special was happening at school. John began coming home brimming with pride and excitement. John told his parents he was happy because he’d earned rewards from The Shadow Store. He then explained how he’d earned these rewards with his Shadow Bucks. He received Shadow Bucks for meeting the personalized goals he’d made with his teacher. John’s Special Education teacher was using The Shadow Project’s Goal Setting Program.

A mom and son play with a small dog

“It was clearly super motivating for him,” Rebecca shared. “I really like the concept of earning, and that made me definitely take notice of The Shadow Project.”

In 2020, when school closures began, John’s teacher continued using The Shadow Project to keep John engaged with virtual learning. Later that year, The Shadow Project announced our virtual Summer Goal Setting Program. Rebecca and John became two of our earliest participants.

Rebecca shared that The Shadow Project has shown her how well the process of goal setting motivates John. She feels it creates clearer communication between them. “A lot of childhood is very confusing and very disempowering. If you can say, ‘this is an open system. It’s no secret you earn this by doing this’ and it’s very clear. …Suddenly a lot of what feels like arbitrariness is taken out of their day.”

The Summer Goal Setting Program was a big success in their household and is now a staple of their summer. 

“It’s a chance for you to partner with your child to set goals that you both agree with,” Rebecca told us. “One of the things about the Shadow Store is that… it gives you a chance to see what your child purchases for themselves…. there’s all kinds of learning opportunities along the way with that program.

John, an upper elementary student, smiles proudly in a line of students
John used Summer Goal Setting to set goals for summer camp

Rebecca stated that she signed up because she had been impressed with our programs. She wanted to continue that for John during the summer. “The most helpful thing is that it keeps me focused on the fact that summer is not just… an all bets are off situation…. I want him to continue the process of goal setting because he’s going to keep on doing it at school the next year.”

“What The Shadow Project really emphasizes is meeting your child where they’re at.” Rebecca said, “It’s not about trying to fit these children into boxes…. The summer program is a chance for you to partner with your child to set goals that you both agree with.”

The Goal Setting program has helped keep John motivated and engaged in his own progress. Rebecca and John are happy to have that consistency during the summer and establish a smoother transition into the new school year. Our free and virtual Summer Goal Setting Program is back this summer! Learn more or register here.

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