Story from:

Betty Cate, Multnomah County

I have been a SMART volunteer for 11 plus years now, and wish that more older people would join us helping the kids. I am 86 years old, and I am not really maternal person. I like children, but I also know that they have their good days and bad days. After all they are human.

It has been such a joy, and I wish I had known about it earlier.

One girl who had been struggling with her reading, really improved and told me I was the best SMART reader there was. (I think she was having some problems outside of school, but you do not ask.)

I have read on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 – 10:30. One time the kindergarten teacher asked us if we would help with a project in her room. (This had never happened before nor since.) Anyway, when we got to the room, they were not settled in yet. I sat next to my student, across from me was a little boy and next to him was a little girl. The little boy across from me asked “what is wrong with your face?” I said “pardon” He repeated “what is wrong with your face?” I said “I don’t know” (I thought maybe I had a speck of dirt or something.) He then said It is so OLD!” Happily the teacher called for order then.
He was so serious, his big dark eyes were sort of concerned looking.

There have been many sweet times and as I said, I just wish some of the older people would volunteer as there is a need. It takes so little effort, and you are doing something useful. An added bonus is that you can learn so much as the books are GREAT.

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