Story from:

Michelle Gilmore, Multnomah County

I had the PLEASURE of reading with one of the most dynamic kids I have ever met! Her name is Arianna and she seems to know everyone in her school-the older students, the cool kids, the younger students, all of the teachers, everyone. We read together when she was in 2nd and 3rd grades. Every time she was absent or her school had a break, I’d ask her what she did since I had last seen her. The answer was the same every time, “thought about you.” The whole summer between 2nd and 3rd grades, “thought about you.” Then, she’d look up and tease one of the older skater kids, “hey Rob, you gonna give me a hug?” Then, “hi Ms. Benson.” She made me feel like the coolest volunteer in the school! As the SMART Manager that oversees her school’s SMART program, I am still in her school several times each year. Whenever her class walks by the SMART space (she’ll be in 6th grade this year!), her face lights up when she sees me. She leaves the line of students to run over and give me a quick hello and a hug. I tell her how great it is to see her and ask what she has been up to. After all these years, “thinking about you.”

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