SMART Reader smiles at a young girl who is reading the cover of a book

Across Oregon communities, kids aren’t meeting reading benchmarks, despite the efforts of our hard-working families and educators. We want to change that, but we can’t do it alone.

At SMART Reading, we hold to one simple truth: reading matters. It’s an early gateway skill that paves the pathway for future success. Without it, kids are simply less likely to graduate high school, find employment, or successfully avoid hardships like poverty, homelessness, hunger and other injustices.

Founded in 1992, SMART Reading is a children’s literacy nonprofit that serves kids in Oregon’s highest need schools and marginalized communities with two ingredients critical for literacy and learning success: shared reading time and books to keep. We mobilize volunteers to provide reading support and access to books for children from birth to 8th grade, helping to build confidence, literacy skills, and a love of reading.

Importantly, we know it works. Reading motivation and enjoyment are critical components of literacy development, and by the end of the year, 9 in 10 SMART Reading students grow in their enjoyment of reading. SMART Reading provides a meaningful way for Oregonians to make a direct impact in their communities. 

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.