Oregon Cultural Trust Expands Access to Literature for Children in Special Education

Oregon Cultural Trust Expands Access to Literature for Children in Special Education

Students with disabilities will receive a vast audiovisual library and assistive technology to develop literacy and a love of reading

October 14, 2019 (Portland, OR)The Shadow Project, a Portland nonprofit committed to making school more accessible and engaging for children with disabilities, has received a $19,679 Cultural Development grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust. The grant will expand a Reading Mentors program through which elementary school students are gaining up to two years in reading proficiency and broadening their cultural horizons through literature.

The Oregon Cultural Trust awards Cultural Development grants to recognize and support significant cultural projects that preserve and enhance Oregon’s diverse arts, history, heritage, preservation and humanities efforts.

In Oregon, 79% of students with disabilities do not meet the benchmark of third-grade reading proficiency that predicts high school graduation.

With the support of the Cultural Development grant, The Shadow Project will expand its Reading Mentors program in Portland and McMinnville. At 10 elementary schools, students with dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other disabilities will have unlimited access to a vast audiovisual library that allows them to see and hear words at the same time, making books come alive for the first time. Students also receive assistive reading technology and caring mentors who motivate them to set reading goals, celebrate their progress, and engage them about their favorite new books. 

The Oregon Cultural Trust funds 1400+ nonprofits in Oregon in the areas of arts, heritage, and humanities. With a donation to any (or several) of the 1400+ on the list, Oregonians qualify for a state tax credit.

Trail Blazers Make Books Come Alive for Children in Special Education

Trail Blazers Make Books Come Alive for Children in Special Education

Students with learning challenges will receive supports to meet critical academic benchmarks, through a grant to The Shadow Project

July 22, 2019 (Portland, OR) – The Shadow Project, a Portland nonprofit committed to making school more accessible and engaging for children with disabilities, has received a $7,500 LEARN grant from the Trail Blazers Foundation Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation. The grant will expand a Reading Mentors program through which elementary school students who were reading up to three below grade level have increased as much as two years in reading proficiency.

The LEARN grant is awarded to organizations throughout Oregon and SW Washington that support youth in their journey to and through high school, and ensure students meet critical academic benchmarks, such as third-grade reading proficiency, increased attendance, and a successful transition from 8th to 9th grade.

In Oregon, 79% of students with disabilities do not meet the benchmark of third-grade reading proficiency that predicts high school graduation.

With the support of the LEARN grant, The Shadow Project will expand its Reading Mentors program in Portland and McMinnville. At 10 high opportunity elementary schools, students with dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other disabilities will have unlimited access to an audiovisual library that allows them to see and hear words at the same time, making books come alive. Students will also be paired with caring mentors who motivate them to set reading goals and celebrate their progress.

The Trail Blazers are dedicated to positively impacting the lives of children and families who have been historically underserved, where they live, learn, and play.

Portland Timbers Champion Children with Learning Challenges

Portland Timbers Champion Children with Learning Challenges

Struggling readers will be paired with mentors and assistive technology through a unique program that advances educational equity for underserved children.

May 2,  2019 (Portland, OR)The Shadow Project, a Portland nonprofit committed to making school more accessible and engaging for children with disabilities, has received a grant of $8,400 grant from the Portland Timbers Community Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The grant will expand a Reading Mentors program through which elementary students who are reading up to three behind grade level have increased as much as two years in reading proficiency.

“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% 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.

The Portland Timbers Community Fund harnesses the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving. The fund’s priority in the area of education is for all students to read proficiently by third grade, fostering a lifetime love of learning and literacy in local children.

National Reading Champions!

National Reading Champions!

Two students at Woodmere Elementary ranked in the top 5 percentile of students from nearly 1,000 elementary schools nationwide in a competition for nontraditional readers. Fifth graders Esnoy and Eric are graduates of Shadow’s Reading Mentors Program, which pairs students with a mentor and assistive reading technology designed for children with learning challenges.

To learn more about our Reading Mentors program, email us at info@shadow-project.org

Nearly 200 students in The Shadow Project are celebrating their success in Learning Ally’s Great Reading Games, a national competition for students who use assistive reading technology.  Students from Markham, Bridger, Rosa Parks, Duniway, Abernethy, and Woodmere schools in Portland and Patton Middle School in McMinnville competed in a seven-week reading challenge using an audio-visual library that allows children to see and hear books simultaneously and adapt the system to their learning needs. The students read a total of 65,521 audiobook pages, with Woodmere finishing in the top 12% of elementary schools across the country.

Research has found that increased reading time is the highest correlated activity for children achieving reading benchmarks, a key predictor of  graduation. An analysis by Learning Ally found that Shadow students spend more than twice the time reading compared to national expectations for 100,000 students nationwide who use the audio-visual technology.

The Shadow Project has been hosting science-themed ice-cream celebrations for families at  each school to honor our students’ perseverance and reading success.

Support Shadow by Eating at ¿Por Qué? No on May 8

Support Shadow by Eating at ¿Por Qué? No on May 8

You can help Shadow Project teachers empower their students with learning challenges by eating at one of ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria’s two Portland locations on Wednesday, May 8.

Ten percent of all sales, all day, at either ¿Por Qué No? location will benefit Shadow teachers and kids, including dine-in, to go orders, merchandise, and gift certificates.

¿Por Qué No? is located at 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. and 3524 N Mississippi Avenue, and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Proceeds will support children with learning challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism in setting and achieving goals; reading with ears and eyes on audio-visual technology; and instilling calm and focus through sensory learning.