To engage community volunteers to read one on one with pre-K to third-grade children who need literacy support. Participating children also receive new books each month to keep and read at home.
Bottom Line for Portland
With the help of 5,000 community volunteers, SMART reads one on one with 10,000 young children each year at risk of falling behind on their reading benchmarks. An independent study found that children who participate in SMART are 60 percent more likely to be reading on benchmark in fifth grade than children who didn’t participate in the program.
“Because of SMART, I am able to read. Without the time working with my [volunteer] Readers, I would have been shuffled along or held back. SMART was key to changing that.” —Olivia, former SMART student