Become a SMART Reader in Your Local School

Schools Seek Volunteer Readers

on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 Posted in Happenings, School Partnership Network, Opportunities

Become a SMART Reader in Your Local School

Research tells us that children must meet reading benchmarks by third grade in order to be ready for the educational challenges ahead. To do this effectively, efforts to familiarize children with books and reading must start long before they cross the threshold into school. That’s why reading matters.

The program concept is simple: pair an adult volunteer with children for two, one-on-one 30-minute reading sessions. Children read with two different volunteers each week for seven months, totaling up to 28 hours of individual volunteer attention. Volunteers model the joy of reading, while supporting the child’s efforts to read independently.

An independent study by the Eugene Research Institute reveals that fifth graders who participated in SMART, Start Making A Reader Today, are 60 percent more likely to reach state reading benchmarks than are similar students who did not participate. SMART students develop reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension significantly faster and maintain these gains even after completing the program.

Readers comprise SMART’s largest volunteer segment, standing 5,000 strong. These individuals commit an hour each week from mid-October to mid-May to read one-on-one with two children in 30-minute sessions. Nearly 60 percent of our Readers have been volunteering for two years or more, with nearly 30 percent reading for more than five years.

Just one hour a week can change a child's future! You can visit SMART's website to volunteer, and find a school near you that needs SMART readers! Click here to volunteer.