When I first moved back to Bend, we were a young married couple with no children. My husband Jordy and I wanted to be involved in the community and we chose to be SMART readers. It was so fulfilling to see the children improve upon their reading throughout the school year. And when we would Read More ›
stories from the SMART community:
Having volunteered (and worked) with SMART for 11 years, numerous stories come to mind. However the one about Marcus stands out… Marcus was a “tough kid” who didn’t want to be bothered with SMART. He was quite happy in his art class (thank you very much), and he seemed rather annoyed when I arrived to Read More ›
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 Read More ›
While accepting accolades for being “a really great coordinator,” I simply reply: “I am just an average person doing an important job for SMART”. This is true of many SMART volunteers. Most of us are average people doing important work for SMART.
SMART changes lives. As adult SMART readers we like to think we are giving something wonderful to the children. The truth is they give us back something just as wonderful. One hour a week I plunked down to read with lively, energetic, curious children. One hour a week I watched timid children bloom. One hour Read More ›
I became involved with Smart by attending Stephanie Oliver’s 60th birthday party 10 years ago, where she gave us a mini-presentation about Smart and asked people to buy books for Smart instead of presents for herself. I love children’s books, and, being a graphic designer, love pointing out all the little stories occurring in the Read More ›
I bonded with the second grader who I read with over goats. He was one of six boys whose family operated a goat farm. He liked to read books about animals and, during our reading time, he told me each boy in his family was responsible for caring for their own small herd of 5-6 Read More ›
If kids don’t get a chance for education, they fall through the cracks. SMART helps create a connection between a child and a caring adult – that’s why I got involved. But the people are what keep me coming back. The commitment of the staff, board, and volunteers is infectious.
I was fortunate to have parents help encourage me with my academics. Reading certainly helped me move up in my career. I worry that computers are impairing our society’s ability to comprehend significant content, and I would hate to see reading supplanted by that.
If a young person isn’t up to reading at grade-level by the third grade, they have a terrible time catching up. Reading is the basis for all things. SMART makes it fun. And the kids kept me coming back.