Eugene Research Institute
An independent study by the Eugene Research Institute reveals that fifth graders who participated in SMART are 60 percent more likely to reach state reading benchmarks than are similar students who did not participate. SMART students develop reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension significantly faster and maintain these gains even after completing the program. The full study is available for download here.
SMART Student Milestones
In April 2012, SMART teachers were asked to report progress they have observed for each participating SMART student throughout the year in a variety of outcomes, including the child’s reading performance. Teacher participation was voluntary.
- Teachers indicated that, at the beginning of the year, 76 percent of students were not showing grade-appropriate reading performance. When surveyed, they indicated that number shrunk to 42 percent.
- Teachers indicated that, at the beginning of the year, 21 percent of students were showing grade-appropriate performance. When surveyed, that number increased to 46 percent.
- About nine in 10 SMART students showed some to significant improvement in attention span, confidence and self-esteem.
- Similarly, nine in 10 showed some to significant improvement in enthusiasm for reading and increased comfort in conversation.
Each year, we survey volunteer readers, parents, educators and superintendents from across the state in an effort to evaluate our services and maintain a dialog with our program participants. Following are some highlights from 2011-2012 surveys:
Do you feel that the SMART program contributed to the literacy outcomes in your school in 11-12?
Scale of 1 (no contribution) to 10 (significant contribution)
- 76 percent of principals/teachers gave us a rating of 7 or higher
Do you feel that students participating in SMART benefitted from the program?
Scale of 1 (no benefit) to 10 (significant progress)
- 87 percent of principals/teachers gave us a rating of 7 or higher
Ninety-one percent of parents surveyed think the SMART program helped their child become a stronger reader.
What parents like most about the SMART program*: (*respondents could select more than one option)
- 74 percent – Positive one-on-one relationship with adult volunteer
- 69 percent – More time spent reading books
- 60 percent – Books taken home
SMART 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.