SMART Reading is kicking off its 28th year of providing shared reading time and books to kids in Oregon with a campaign to find local volunteers who want to give just one hour a week to read with pre-kindergarten through third-grade students at elementary schools in Prairie City and Long Creek.

Over 95% of students who participate in SMART show improvement in measures of literacy development, vocabulary and reading enjoyment. With the help of 15 volunteers, SMART plans to serve over 40 children in Prairie City and Long Creek this year.

The aim is to help foster a love of reading in children, as well as provide them with books to keep and read with their families.

“SMART Reading volunteers are critical to making our program happen,” said SMART Area Manager Jennifer Zardinejad. “Without reading volunteers, our program simply would not exist.”

Volunteers have been at the heart of SMART’s work since its founding 28 years ago, and are critical to the success of its mission. To learn more, call 541-797-7726 or visit smartreading.org.

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