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 the SMART Reading community focuses on helping our youngest kids gain the skills and confidence that ignite a love of reading.

SMART Reading gives teachers a powerful resource: trained volunteers to read one-on-one with your child. Our volunteers help your child become a stronger, more confident reader. And, kids get free books to keep.

What it Means for Your Child to be in SMART Reading

SMART Reading is a program that engages community volunteers to read one-on-one 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 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.

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.