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Stories | SMART

stories from the SMART community:

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Karin Michaelson, Benton County

I have been seeking a position in my field of study since December 2009. Being rejected hundreds of times is disheartening to say the least, and it has taken me over two years to move forward, however, Viktor E. Frankl stated, “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the Read More ›

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Amy Daniel, Lane County

In the 1990′s, my beloved grandmother Elizabeth Taylor (not the one of Hollywood fame) was a SMART volunteer in Eugene. That was one of the biggest highlights of her last remaining years. She was a retired school teacher so I think that in a small way, it brought her back to what she loved most Read More ›

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Susan Potts

I have 2 stories: 1st story is from this week first week back and SMART. Meeting my kindergarden boy, we picked a book to read and I was reading and every word he would make the sound to the beginning letter of the word I was saying. I was thinking “wow, this kid is really Read More ›

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Duncan C. Smith, Washington County

My SMART experience started in the late fall of 1994 at Applegate Elementary School in Portland on a tour sponsored by the Education Committee of the Portland City Club. The principal, Michelann Ortloff, gave such an impressive talk about the transformation of this school that I asked how I could get involved as a volunteer. Read More ›

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Melinda LeRoy, Washington County

I am a new SMART volunteer. The second time I met my student, she asked me if I was going to see her every Thursday morning. When I said Yes, she beamed from ear to ear. Instead of reading hesitantly, she read fluently and confidently. I was so proud of her. I just love being Read More ›

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Nova Moisa, Washington County

This is my 12th year as a SMART volunteer. I’m embarrassed to admit that I originally started volunteering for completely selfish reasons – to get out of work as my employer paid for us to volunteer during the work day. I quickly realized that I was gaining so much by helping my two kids and Read More ›

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Dianne Zarder, Coos County

A 2nd grader was struggling with reading, and I chose the book Giraffes Can’t Dance to read with her. In this wonderful book with terrific rhythms and artwork, a young giraffe wants to dance but his mother tells him that giraffes can’t dance. I asked the girl to read to me and I would help, Read More ›

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Marilee Woodrow, Lane County

Several years ago, I started with one young reader when she was in a blended classroom of 1st and 2nd grade students. She struggled to recognize and sound out even the simplest of words. That whole first year, she struggled and tried so hard. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to – she loved the Read More ›

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Pat Ehm, Lane County

I have been a volunteer reader in the SMART program for 10 years. I was reading at Fairfield Elementary school for seven years, and the last three years at Cesar Chavez. I enjoy the one-on-one time with each child. It’s rewarding seeing their reading skills improve as the year progresses. It is also fun to see their excitement Read More ›

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Dennis Dietrich, Deschutes County

I was a SMART volunteer for several years at Bear Creek Elementary School in Bend. One year I had a student that was in need of some special care. We’ll call him Eric. Eric had a way of getting into trouble and not being particularly studious, so his teacher nominated him for the SMART program. Read More ›

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