October 14, 2021

SMART Reading and The Children’s Book Bank are excited to announce that, after nearly a year of exploration, we have agreed to merge into one combined organization. 

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.

While we’re publicly sharing our intention to merge today, we expect to combine forces legally and administratively in 2022 and begin implementing shared programming in 2023. In the meantime, both SMART and The Children’s Book Bank will continue their respective work as usual.

To read a joint letter from our Boards of Directors, click here.

For an FAQ about the merger, click here