Our Vision

An Oregon where all children can realize their full potential through reading.

Our Mission

To spark joy and opportunity through the magic of a shared book.

Our History

In 1991, a group of concerned business leaders led by Gov. Neil Goldschmidt came together to address the troublesome reality that Oregon’s children were routinely reading below grade level. SMART Reading’s unique model was developed, blending early childhood reading support, adult mentorship and community engagement to positively impact literacy outcomes.

The program launched in 1992 in eight schools in two cities, serving 585 children.

Over the years, SMART Reading has steadily grown to become the state’s largest volunteer-driven nonprofit organization devoted to children’s literacy.

Since our inception, we have served more than 233,000 children and given away over 3 million books. More than 144,000 volunteers have logged 4.4 million hours reading with children across the state.

In 2016-17, SMART Reading celebrated its 25th anniversary with the publication of Oregon Reads Aloud, a collection of 25 read-aloud stories written and illustrated by Oregon authors and illustrators. Click here to learn more about Oregon Reads Aloud.