Northwest Health Foundation and partners advance equity for children in special education

Northwest Health Foundation and partners advance equity for children in special education

The Health & Education Fund will strengthen parent voices in advocating for children with learning challenges through a grant to The Shadow Project

The Shadow Project has received a $19,500 grant from the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) and its Health & Education Fund partners: CareOregon, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Oregon Community Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente Northwest. The partners work collaboratively to address root causes of health and education disparities for underserved populations, prioritizing innovative and effective practices that build community capacity and resilience.

“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 percent 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.

“When parents advocate for their children’s education, their children will experience better health their whole lives,” said Reyes.

Northwest Health Foundation seeks to advance, support, and promote health in Oregon and Southwest Washington.