July 1, 2022

SMART Reading and The Children’s Book Bank are excited to announce that, after more than a year of exploration and planning, the two organizations have merged.

This merger is a natural fit for both organizations — it combines the shared impact of access to books and reading engagement, two of the strongest predictors of early literacy skills. 

It’s great news for Oregon kids, and an important step in supporting young readers across Oregon. The third-grade reading level is widely recognized as a key indicator of a child’s future educational success, and according to the 2018-19 Oregon Smarter Balanced Assessment, 53 percent of Oregon third-graders did not meet state reading standards. This merger allows SMART and The Children’s Book Bank to expand our impact by getting more books into the hands of kids, diversifying our volunteer opportunities, and creating an opportunity to use SMART’s statewide infrastructure to bring The Children’s Book Bank’s tried and true model for restoring gently-used books to communities across the state.

Effective July 1, the merged organization will operate under the name SMART Reading. In the 2022-23 school year, programming will operate as usual while the merged Boards of Directors and staff explore opportunities to expand the work of the Book Bank into the  greater Metro area and across Oregon. Programmatic changes are planned for the 2023-24 school year.

For an FAQ about the merger, click here

To read a joint letter from our Boards of Directors announcing our intent to merge, click here.