Meet SMART Reading Alumna Vivianne Katlaps


Vivianne Katlaps as a childI grew up here in Portland, and I got to spend time with a one-on-one SMART volunteer when I was in elementary school. It was a very special experience for me. I still have a great love of reading and am thrilled to get to now share that joy with a young reader as a volunteer.

I was in second or third grade at Sunnyside Elementary when I participated in SMART. It felt so special to be chosen to leave my classroom and go read with a volunteer who was there just for me. The room we went to each week felt warm, safe and cozy. I remember the books all laid out on the table, and getting to put a sticker in the ones I chose to keep.

As an adult, I want to make a positive impact on the community, and I’m concerned about kids who’ve been dealing with a lot – the pandemic, mental health issues, tough home lives. And especially now that I have my own child, I want to positively contribute to our public schools.

I recently started teaching yoga at Beverly Cleary Elementary, which is so much fun, and I signed up to be a Reader with SMART at Rosa Parks Elementary. I’m so excited for the one-on-one reading, and having the opportunity to give a child my full attention!