Andrew and Lilly (3)

SMART Reading has a number of program outcomes that prove the model’s effectiveness in improving children’s reading skills, self-confidence and enthusiasm for reading.

SMART Reading Student Milestones

SMART Reading teachers are asked to participate in an annual voluntary survey reporting progress they have observed for each participating student throughout the year.

  • Reading motivation and enjoyment are critical components of literacy development linked to improved reading outcomes.
    • 85% of SMART Reading students met or exceeded benchmarks in reading motivation.
    • 89% of SMART Reading students expressed greater pleasure in reading or being read to.
  • For 98% of students, SMART Reading benefited their learning and growth this year, including:
    • 88% of SMART Reading students showed improved confidence in their reading skills.
    • 83% of SMART Reading students showed improvement in social and emotional skills.
  • Three-fourths of SMART Reading students met or exceeded reading comprehension measures.

SMART Reading Surveys

SMART Reading surveys educators and parents at the end of each year to gain insights about their experiences, which helps us continually improve our program. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive, revealing significant benefits for children participating in SMART Reading:

  • 94% of educators indicated SMART Reading contributed significantly to reading motivation and enjoyment for their students.
  • 93% of parents agreed that their children benefited significantly from participating in SMART Reading, including in the following ways:
    • 85% of parents said their children demonstrated improved reading skills as a result of participating in SMART Reading.
    • 85% of parents said their children spent more time reading as a result of participating in SMART Reading.

Eugene Research Institute

An independent study by the Eugene Research Institute reveals that fifth graders who participated in SMART Reading are 60 percent more likely to reach state reading benchmarks than are similar students who did not participate. The full study is available for download here.

What Works Clearinghouse

SMART Reading was found to have “potentially positive effects on alphabetics, fluency, and comprehension” while other very prominent, full-year reading curricula tended to have studies with randomized-control trials or with experimental designs that did not meet evidence standards.

2019 Program of Distinction

Generations United Program of DistinctionLogo

SMART Reading was named a 2019 Program of Distinction by Generations United, a D.C.-based organization that advocates for programs that connect people across generations. Organizations undergo an extensive application and external review process before being selected, and the designation is good for three years. Generations United’s executive director, Donna Butts, calls the designation the “only U.S. ‘seal of approval’ for intergenerational programs.” Currently there are 43 organizations nationwide with Program of Distinction designations, and SMART Reading is one of two in Oregon. To learn more, visit: