June 2012 Newsletter

Newsletter • June 2012
The Shadow Project

“Shadow Project inspires me to raise my hand.”

–David, 3rd grade

Marysville’s Janice Holstine visits with mascot Shadow

Shadow board members entertain at the teacher gathering

Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual volunteers package school supplies for Shadow kids

Liberty Mutual
“Growing up with ADHD, I can relate to these kids,” says Liberty Mutual volunteer Danielle Rodriquez. “It’s great to know the work we’re doing is making a difference for them.”

Shadow Teacher Appreciation Gathering

Teachers, board members and advisory council members gathered at “Shadow’s House” June 14 to celebrate a great year of helping children with learning differences succeed in school. Special education teacher Janice Holstine of Marysville School, new to The Shadow Project through a grant from The NIKE Employee Grant Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation told the group her once reluctant writers are “asking for more journal-writing time”. Board members David Jackson aka Trailblazer “Dj O.G. ONE” and Ken Moore led the board in some fancy dance moves. Blazer Dancers, eat your hearts out! Thank you to Maurice Fain of Firewines.com for the fabulous beverages. See more photos on Facebook.

Liberty Mutual Volunteer Day
Students in The Shadow Project will be off to a great start at school this fall, thanks to Liberty Mutual employees. As part of the company’s 100th anniversary, employees around the country spent June 21 and 22 helping nonprofits, including Shadow. Our enthusiastic group worked at the Shadow warehouse, sorting children’s books, packaging school-supply goody-bags and re-stocking shelves. A huge thanks to Liberty team leader Evan and the dedicated crew: Danielle, Michelle, Tom, Meagan, Heather, Lorelei and Matthew, a long-time Shadow supporter who says that he has a strong desire to “make an impact on kids’ lives and see them succeed”. See more photos on Facebook.

Making a Difference
A huge thank-you to our latest corporate and foundation donors: The Reser Family Foundation awarded The Shadow Project a $10,000 to support capacity building. The Jackson Family Foundation provided a grant of $1,500 for program support. These foundations are help 1,300 promising students to thrive and school and support the teachers who bring out their potential.

News from the Shadow Team
We are sad to say goodbye to our Program Manager Sam Karustis, who has strengthened our program for teachers and students this past year and whose warmth and passion for this work radiated to everyone who knew her. We wish Sam and her family the best of luck as they take up residence in Boston. We’ll miss you, Sam!

Please join us in welcoming Lena Teplitsky, who joins us as The Shadow Project’s first Assistant Director. Lena comes to us with eight years experience in social services and education, most recently from the SUN Schools Program at Bridger and Harrison Park (both Shadow Project schools!) where she managed after-school programs for children and families, ran community events and supervised volunteers. A Fulbright scholar, Lena will manage the Shadow program and administration.

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City of Portland's 2011 "Making a Difference" Award in Education

The Shadow Project
Toll free: 1-888-747-0005
Email: Shadow@shadow-project.org

May 2012 Newsletter

Turning “I can’t” into “I CAN”

Newsletter • May 2012
The Shadow Project

93.9% of teachers in The Shadow Project say their students have increased overall confidence AND are more willing to persevere when faced with a difficult task.

2012 Teacher Survey on Student Impact

“Shadow Project has helped me build relationships with parents and helps them feel good about their child’s progress! Thank you for being a part of our school community.”

–Elizabeth Schneider, Special Education Teacher, Guy Lee Elementary, Springfield

“The Lincoln CommuniCARE Club felt passionately about giving to The Shadow Project because of the amazing work being done that affects kids in schools all around Portland.”

–Natalie Mayer, Lincoln sophomore and Club President

Fashion Show
Special education teacher Natalie Behrends and daughter Campbell

Courts Kids helper
Ellie Babcock, Shadow Project Social Media Intern

Students Turn “I Can’t” into “I CAN!”

Thank You Letter
Hundreds of letters poured in this month from students telling us about their achievements in reading, writing, math and attendance. Congratulations on a fabulous year! Read more about student outcomes.

Lincoln Students Support Shadow Kids
The Portland Art Museum was the site of The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CommuniCARE grant award ceremony

Helena Morse Natalie Mayer Sydney Cao
Lincoln students Helena Morse, Natalie Mayer, and Sydney Cao

that brought together teen philanthropists and their 16 nonprofit beneficiaries, including The Shadow Project. The CommuniCARE program, now in its 15th year, provides high school students real-life experience in philanthropy. Clubs from three schools and the Girls, Inc. program selected local nonprofits and created their own fundraisers, with the Schnitzer Foundation matching their earnings many times over. The Shadow Project received $1,500 from the Lincoln Club, whose members had raised money through a candy bar sale.

Shadow on Catwalk at McMinnville Fundraiser
The McMinnville Education Foundation’s Fashion Show fundraiser held over Mother’s Day weekend featured grant recipients, including teachers modeling stunning outfits from Mes Amies. The Shadow Project was well represented by Grandhaven’s special education teacher Jolene Heinrich, who coordinates our program at four McMinnville elementary schools; Memorial’s Natalie Behrends, and Shadow executive director Christy Scattarella. Thank you McMinnville Education Foundation for helping our kids succeed in style!

The Face Behind Facebook
Kudos to our awesome Social Media Intern, Ellie Babcock, whose efforts have more than doubled our “Likes” on The Shadow Project’s Facebook and greatly increased our Twitter followers. Ellie, 17, of Sherwood, is finishing up her junior year at Riverdale High School. A member of the National Honor Society, Ellie is also on her school’s soccer, lacrosse and track teams. As someone with learning differences in her own family, Ellie is keenly aware of the need for greater understanding and information and does extensive research to locate articles that help build a community of support.

Duniway PTA – A Tradition of Giving
More than a decade ago, when The Shadow Project was a tiny “mom’n’pup” volunteer effort operating out of a garage, Duniway PTA members donated books and school supplies. Today, Shadow has partnered with special education teachers to help over 6,000 children with special needs, and Duniway PTA has been there every step of the way. Thank you for your generous donation of $400 to support The Shadow Project at your school, and for continuing to champion our community’s capable, courageous students with learning differences.

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City of Portland's 2011 "Making a Difference" Award in Education

The Shadow Project
Toll free: 1-888-747-0005
Email: Shadow@shadow-project.org

April 2012 Newsletter

Our Enthusiastic Readers

Newsletter • April 2012
The Shadow Project

97% of teachers in The Shadow Project report the majority of their students are more engaged in learning.

78.8% say most students have demonstrated an ability to set and meet goals.

2012 Teacher Survey on Student Impact


“Having Shadow Project as a resource has been the hook that helps build a relationship with unmotivated students. I can’t say enough about how much the Shadow Project has helped me to connect with students and to let them know that they are cared for and valued as human beings.

–Betsy Shaughnessy, speech-language pathologist, Bridger School


Book Illustration
Shadow story becomes a book!
Black Heron Press will publish The Boy Who Learned Upside Down in fall 2013. Written by Shadow founder Christy Scattarella and illustrated by Winky Wheeler, Boy is based on the true story of one child’s journey from “I can’t” to “I can!” and celebrates the courage of kids with special needs.

Courts Kids helper
Shadow volunteer 5th grader Maretta helped sort children’s books at the Court’s Kids event.


Walmart Fosters Student Success

A generous grant from the Walmart Foundation has helped The Shadow Project strengthen its program this past year, providing enhanced support to teachers and helping us incorporate recommendations from the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, which selected Shadow as the beneficiary of its 2011 Community Partners program. Preliminary results

Wlamart Thank You
Lynnette Diller’s students at Peninsula School are enthusiastic readers.

from our 2012 Teacher Survey on Student Impact show that 74% of students whose goal was to increase reading proficiency this year have made significant program toward their goal. Special educator Grace O’Hanlon at Buckman Elementary thanked Walmart, saying, “My students are more motivated to learn.” Walmart funds also helped purchase new books from teacher and student wish lists, much to the delight of Harrison, a Buckman 4th grader who is proud of how much he has improved his reading skills this year. “Sometimes I go home after school and read for two hours,” he said. In fact, 73% of teachers say students in their classrooms who previously shied away from reading are now motivated to earn books. Thank you, Walmart for supporting our amazing children in becoming confident, engaged learners! Read more.


Chronic Absence Begins Early

The recent groundbreaking report “Chronic Absence in Oregon”* found a disturbing level of absenteeism among the state’s low-income children as early as kindergarten. But economically disadvantaged children in special education fare even worse. ECONorthwest analysis of data from the Oregon Dept. of Education in 2009-10 found, for example, that 24% of low-income 3rd graders in special ed missed 10% or more of school in 2009-10 vs. 17% of low-income students in the general population. chart Special educators using The Shadow Project tell us they see very low chronic absence among their students but identified factors that impact attendance, including lack of parental involvement, frustration with learning, and lack of confidence. Chronic absence is a strong predictor of a student’s risk of dropping out of school.

*”Chronic Absence in Oregon” sponsored by The Children’s Institute, Chalkboard Project, Attendance Works, and ECONorthwest.


Court’s Kids Provides Books for Shadow Kids

Last month, Shadow Project volunteers participated in the Court’s Kids annual book-sorting event and took home nearly 500 books for students in our program. Court’s Kids distributes books to special education classrooms in Oregon, as well as Utah, California, and Washington. The organization is named for Courtney Bunfill, who had nearly completed her degree in Special Education when she died in a tragic accident. Her sister, Kiki Grant, is fulfilling Courtney’s dream of helping children with special needs.


Making a Difference

A huge thank you to our latest corporate and foundation donors, whose generosity makes a profound difference in the lives of our children:

The NIKE Employee Grant Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation has awarded a $6,400 grant to expand our program to Marysville School.


Junior League to Benefit Shadow

The Junior League of Portland has selected The Shadow Project as a beneficiary of its Portland CAREs program. This fall 20 to 30 League volunteers will spend a Saturday at the Shadow warehouse sorting books and organizing program materials used for our classroom token economies, which help struggling students to achieve goals and build habits for success.


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City of Portland’s 2011 “Making a Difference” Award in Education

The Shadow Project

Toll free: 1-888-747-0005

Email: Shadow@shadow-project.org



February 2012 Newsletter

Newsletter • February 2012
The Shadow Project

Court’s Kids is so incredibly proud of all of the students participating in The Shadow Project program. We salute you and hope you are proud of yourselves… you should be!

— Kiki Grant, Founder,
Court’s Kids

shadow book Mascot Shadow helps kids love books! Special education students have earned more than 15,000 books through The Shadow Project.

Post Office Girls Capitol Hill students in The Shadow Project give back.

Bonnie and Diana dyslexia conference The Shadow Project’s Bonnie Gilchrist and board member Diana Sticker at the International Dyslexia Association’s Oregon Conference

gloves Help us provide supplies for students.

Shadow Project inspires me to come to the Learning Center to learn more. I like working hard.” Sincerely, Nico, 4th grade

Calling all Book Lovers! Volunteers Needed
Court’s Kids, a generous contributor to The Shadow Project, will hold its annual book-sorting event 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 and has asked us to provide volunteers. Court’s Kids is named for Courtney Bunfill, who was close to completing her degree in Special Education when she died in a tragic accident. Her sister Kiki Grant founded Court’s Kids to fulfill Courtney’s dream of helping children with special needs. Volunteers will sort and pack books for The Shadow Project and other organizations and schools. Enjoy pizza and cupcakes to celebrate what would have been Courtney’s 32nd birthday. Please R.S.V.P. ASAP to Samantha@shadow-project.org.

Shadow Students Give Back
Students at Capitol Hill Elementary School who participate in The Shadow Project set up their own post office – and plan to donate 100% of the proceeds to our program! The student run post office, which runs for two weeks each February, had students lining the hallway two-deep on Valentine’s Day to buy student-made postcards, letters, stamps and recycled crayons to give to friends, family and teachers. The youngsters selected The Shadow Project as the lucky recipient of their efforts because, as student Sean put it, “Shadow Project is fun. It helps me learn.”

Special education teacher Colleen Digiovanna, who oversees the post office with speech-language pathologist Radha Szenasy says activity “motivates students to write letters and teaches them real-life lessons about money, customer service, and working together as a team.” Thank you, Capitol Hill students for supporting The Shadow Project!

Shadow Story Shared at Dyslexia Conference
Nearly 200 professionals that work with children with learning challenges attended the Oregon conference of the International Dyslexia Association last weekend. Featured speaker Dr. Eric Tridas, President of the International Dyslexia Association, gave a fascinating presentation on the executive functions of the brain and how they impact children with conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism. Attendees visited the Shadow Project table and Shadow Executive Director Christy Scattarella spoke during the lunch break, sharing how our program partners with teachers to help children with learning challenges succeed in school.

The Kindness of Strangers
“You don’t have THAT many children!” a man joked to The Shadow Project’s Program Manager Sam Karustis as he stared at the mountain of 300 pairs of gloves on the check-out counter at Fred Meyer. “Who are all these for?” Sam explained about The Shadow Project’s 1,350 students who struggle each day with learning challenges, and how these kids celebrate their milestones by earning reinforcers such as books, school supplies – and yes, even warm gloves. The man, who introduced himself as Richard took $40 from his wallet and handed it to Sam. “Thank you for helping those children,” he said. “My son has learning challenges too. Thanks for the work you do.” Then he gave Sam a hug and walked away. Find out how your gift can go toward student supplies.

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City of Portland’s 2011 “Making a Difference” Award in Education

The Shadow Project
Toll free: 1-888-747-0005
Email: Shadow@shadow-project.org

January 2012 Newsletter

Newsletter • January 2012
The Shadow Project

More-homework-please More Homework, Please!

I used to use my own incentive program, but it wasn’t very rewarding for kids. Now I can get even the most resistant child to work toward a goal. I love the Shadow Project!

— Cara Principe,
speech language pathologist, Portland Pubic Schools

Million-Books-for-Kids “Million Books for Kids”

GuideStar Logo Shadow Project Earns GuideStar Seal

Close to 9 million U.S. children experience severe reading failure caused by learning differences.
– The Haan Foundation

“My Students Are Asking for More Homework!”
Shadow Project students celebrate milestones they’ve reached on Shadow Day: time set aside for them to reflect on their accomplishments. The incentives they earn are tangible results of their journey to integrate habits for success into their learning.

Teachers visited our warehouse earlier this month to select incentives for their students and were blown away by the fabulous titles lining our shelves, including Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Flat Stanley, Big Nate and Magic Treehouse, books our volunteers helped us select during a recent visit to Scholastic Books Warehouse. Speech/language pathologist Judy Matsumoto told us how much the opportunity to earn books is motivating her students. “They are asking for more homework. I’ve never had that happen before!”

Thank You, Willamette Week
This was the first year The Shadow Project was selected to participate in the Willamette Week Give!Guide, and, and thanks to your generosity, we exceeded our expectations. The Shadow Project raised $15,266, including $6,050 in matching funds from the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation. In less than two months, The Give!Guide brought in nearly $1.6 million for 100 local charities and two statewide nonprofits. We were so honored to be part of this incredible experience and are grateful for Willamette Week’s leadership in building community philanthropy.

Help us Get a Million books into the Hands of Portland Kids
Did you know that over 100,000 children in the greater Portland Area have few or no books at home? Some students in The Shadow Project, for example, only have books they’ve earned through our program. The “Million Books for Kids” project is tackling this issue by getting books to the kids who need them most. Better World Books is donating books, which are available at the former Borders Books location in Bridgeport Village. Shadow Project volunteers have already pulled more than 300 books for our students in need, and that’s just the beginning. To find out how you can volunteer for the Million Books project and help Shadow Project kids, email bonnie@shadow-project.org.

Shadow Project on GuideStar
At The Shadow Project, we value transparency and strive to provide information to help donors make informed choices. That’s why we’re pleased to have earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, demonstrating our commitment to transparency. GuideStar is an information service that provides program and financial data on more than 1.7 million nonprofits recognized by the IRS. Read more about The Shadow Project on GuideStar.

Shadow Project to Participate in Dyslexia Conference.
The relationship between brain function, ADHD and learning disabilities will be explored at a conference sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association on Saturday, February 25. Open to the public, the conference will bring together special education teachers and other professionals who work with children and adults with learning disabilities. The featured speaker is Dr. Eric Tridas, President of the International Dyslexia Association. The Shadow Project will have a table at the event, and Executive Director Christy Scattarella will speak briefly. The day-long conference will be held at the Crown Plaza in Northeast Portland.

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City of Portland’s 2011 “Making a Difference” Award in Education

The Shadow Project
Toll free: 1-888-747-0005
Email: Shadow@shadow-project.org