CareOregon Centennial Sponsor

CareOregon Invests in the Success of Centennial Students, with a Program for Focus and Wellbeing

This school year, CareOregon is helping students manage their stress and anxiety as they return to in-person learning.

Students across the Centennial School District are taking part in a social-emotional skills program, sponsored in part by CareOregon. This program is designed for students with learning challenges like dyslexia, ADHD and autism. Students with disabilities are feeling the educational effects of the pandemic more than others. They have higher rates of anxiety and are further behind their peers.

To help with the transition, each school is receiving a “Sensory Space” in a counselor’s office or special education classroom.

Designed with an Occupational Therapist, Sensory Spaces include equipment like yoga mats, trampolines, and balance beams. There’s also smaller tools like noise canceling headphones, fidgets and exercise bands. Students take regular, structured breaks in the space, guided by school staff. Posters help them choose which tools to use based on how they are feeling. Students learn how to deal with frustration, distractions, and stress—so they can engage in learning.

Centennial is seeking new ways to address student behavior, which is often a reflection of unmet needs or trauma. Traditional discipline more often harms Black, Indigenous and other students of color.

This program gives staff a better resource to support students. And students build life-long skills to calm their minds and bodies.

The program is run by The Shadow Project, an innovative nonprofit that partners with schools to help students with learning challenges reach their full potential.

“We’re proud to support The Shadow Project’s efforts to ensure that every student has the resources and support they need to be truly present in class,” said Shawn DeCarlo, CareOregon community grants manager.

“Because when kids can bring their best selves to school, they can reach their true potential. For us, supporting The Shadow Project is an investment in the families we serve in East County and one of the ways we’re working to address equity in our community. The Shadow Project is helping level the playing field so all kids have a fair shot at success.”

In under-resourced communities like Centennial, where families experienced greater hardship because of the pandemic, extra services in schools are crucial.

“The Shadow Project’s ongoing support is essential to helping our students affected by disability and trauma to reintegrate into the classroom,” said Denise Wright, Centennial’s Director of Student Services.

The Shadow Project is currently seeking sponsors to help fund programs throughout the Portland Metro and Salem, OR. Your company can invest in the wellbeing and academic success of vulnerable children, when they need it most.

To learn more, contact Caitlyn Malik, Operations & Engagement Manager, or (503) 987-0209.


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