Start Making a reader today!
Oregon's SMART program is the recipient of the 2014 Library of Congress Literacy Award
"The award is a major honor for the pioneering nonprofit that over the past 22 years, has engaged more than 113,000 community volunteers to help 170,000 at-risk students build their reading skills and self-confidence to discover a lifelong love of reading."
The SMART program was founded in 1992 by a former Oregon governor Neil Goldsmidt. The governor helped put 10,000 volunteers into local schools. He had a vision of bringing connections between communities and local schools. A 2 year longitudinal study was done at the Eugene Research Institute in Eugene Oregon that says that the SMART program is a benefit for our children and our communities. Our volunteers help our overloaded teachers and our at risk students by providing one on one assistance.
I began working with the SMART program to help me with my senior capstone and it has become so much more. I am so excited every time I arrive at the school because I see so many eager faces ready to learn or hear a new story. These kids are starving for knowledge. I am so happy to provide them with it. Growing up I didn't have someone like me to encourage me that reading was so awesome. It wasn't until I was in the 5th grade that I was proficient enough to read on my own. Waiting until I was in 5th grade to understand written language is too late. Thus, I struggle with learning new things. These kids hopefully with my efforts and the efforts of other volunteers will not have to go through what I have gone through.