stories from the SMART community:

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Peggy Bernhard, Benton County

My first year as a reader, I was assigned a 1st grader who was full of “pickles.” We did reading, but we also did some work on ignoring others, staying seated, and not wasting time. I watched and saw that he was usually the one who got caught while the instigator was long gone. He […]

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Marge Wrightson, Lane County

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a light in a child’s eyes, a light of understanding or accomplishment and you know that you have reached them. Another great reward one year was at the end of the school year. There was a little reception for the kids and their parents and when one of my […]

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Linda Brown, Tillamook County

Starting as a SMART Coordinator in 2005, I realized I had joined an amazing program for the love of reading. I loved to read and wanted to share that with students at my local elementary school. The volunteers I worked with were amazing! The teachers worked so hard to get as many students that needed […]

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Allison Mudrick, Multnomah County

Several years ago, I read to a kindergarten student at Vernon Elementary School. Every Wednesday, as we selected which books we were going to share, he pulled “Cat in the Hat” off the shelf and that was the one we made sure to read together. On the last day of the year, Gina, our SMART […]

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Ed Parigian, Multnomah County

I have so many great memories of reading with the kids, and one of my favorites has to be the time that I was working with a 1st grade boy, a macho manly boy, on a story that contained a lot of dialogue. It seemed a perfect story to make into a play, so we […]

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Joan Tingey, Lane County

When I retired in 1997 I decided I wanted to do some volunteering. As I thought about it I thought how important it is for kids to read well in order to succeed in school. I heard about the SMART program here in Cottage Grove and saw they needed volunteers badly. My children had gone […]

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Colleen McDonald, Jackson County

I’ve been a SMART Volunteer since 1998, and it is my joy to help bring the love of reading and books to emerging readers. Whether it is seeing the big smile each time they see you, laughing together and enjoying funny and interesting stories, or ” breaking the ice” with a new reader by confiding […]

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Pat Grady, Multnomah County

My first year of SMART volunteering has been so immediately rewarding. I was assigned to read with a very, very shy 2nd grader who actually was an excellent reader. She needed a boost in self-esteem, I suppose. After a few months of reading together with lots of space between us, I approached the school yard […]

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Beverly Winchester, Josephine County

I volunteered for several years and encouraged several others to do so. I have always enjoyed reading, first as a tiny child sitting on Dad’s lap and then on my own as I learned the magic of reading. A number of children in SMART had difficulty in their classrooms, but they were usually happy to […]

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Cathy Spencer, Yamhill County

I Love SMART! I have been doing SMART for over 10 years and plan to continue for as long as they will have me. When I started SMART, I was dealing with my young son and his learning disability. I have seen firsthand how reading or not being able to read, impacts a young child’s […]

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