SMART Reading is a children’s literacy nonprofit that serves kids in Oregon’s highest-need schools with two ingredients critical for literacy and learning success: shared reading time and access to books. We mobilize volunteers to read with PreK through third-grade children, building confidence, literacy skills, and a love of reading. Kids in our program get to choose and keep 14 books a year to build their own personal libraries!
Simply put, life is harder when children can’t read proficiently. Reading is a critical gateway skill that paves the pathway for successful futures. Without it, kids are less likely to graduate from high school or find gainful employment as adults, leading to a host of additional hardships. Building a strong foundation of literacy can change a child’s life trajectory, and can help prevent and alleviate issues of poverty, homelessness, hunger, and injustice.