Reading Resources

We love finding ways to get kids excited about reading! Below are some resources and activities to help families enjoy books together.

Family Newsletter: Click here to access our most recent family newsletter with reading tips, book recommendations, and more (available in English and Spanish)!

SMART Book Award: The SMART Book Award is an annual activity in which SMART Reading students across Oregon vote for their favorite children’s books from several nominated titles. The votes for 2024 are in and Not A Box by Antoinette Portis was selected as the winner. Below you’ll find a list of this year’s nominees — click on each one to access a printable activity sheet.

To learn more about the SMART Book Awards, click here.

Reading Activity Sheets: We’ve created a few themed activity sheets that include recommended books, activities, and reading tips. We hope you’ll join in the fun and read along with us!

For more free educational resources available for families, click here.

What it Means for Your Child to be in SMART Reading

Kids who love to read experience the joy of new stories and new worlds. They also build the strongest foundation for a lifetime of successful learning. That’s why SMART Reading focuses on helping our youngest kids gain the skills and confidence that ignite a love of reading.

SMART Reading is a program that engages community volunteers to read with students each week in schools across the state. If your child is selected to participate in SMART Reading, they will attend up to two one-on-one 30-minute reading sessions each week. We strive to maintain consistent reading pairs so that your child can benefit from building a positive relationship with two volunteers throughout the school year. We also offer a Classroom SMART model where a volunteer leads weekly (virtual or in-person) reading sessions for the whole classroom.

SMART Reading gives teachers a powerful resource: trained volunteers focused on helping your child develop a love of reading and become a stronger, more confident reader. And, kids get free books to keep.

How Children are Selected

Research tells us that all children need one-on-one reading time with adults, and that all children can benefit from the SMART Reading program in some way. Teachers select children they feel will most benefit from the SMART Reading program for a variety of reasons:

  • Children who would benefit from one-on-one reading time
  • Children who would benefit from opportunities to increase enjoyment of reading
  • Children who would benefit from selecting their own books to take and keep
  • Children who are not being served in other programs

How SMART Reading Screens Volunteers

Our number one priority is to maintain a safe and positive experience for all participating SMART Reading students and volunteers. All volunteers undergo an extensive national criminal history screening before being accepted into the program. We also have trained SMART Reading Site Coordinators who oversee each reading session and ensure that a child is never alone with an adult.

Importance of Books

Having a wide variety of children’s books outside the classroom is critical to a child’s reading success. If your child is participating in SMART Reading, they will have an opportunity to select two books per month to keep. We highly encourage you as a parent to read with your child every day and hope that the SMART Reading books are providing more opportunities to engage in literacy activities for your family. To learn more about our book selection, click here.

Suggestions for Reading

Please check out our Why Reading Matters resource page for lots of great reading tips, book suggestions, and other literacy information for parents and families.