What it Means for Your Child to be in SMART

SMART is a reading program that engages community volunteers to read one-on-one with students each week in more than 245 schools across the state. If your child is selected to participate in SMART, he or she 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 positive adult mentorship and build relationships 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 program in some way. Teachers select children they feel will most benefit from the SMART program for a variety of reasons:

  • Needs additional reading practice
  • Could benefit from one-on-one time with a caring adult
  • May not have the opportunity to attend other supplemental programs
  • Shy or could benefit from increased confidence
  • An advanced reader who could really flourish with some individualized attention.

How SMART Screens Volunteers

SMART’s number one priority is to maintain a safe and positive experience for all participating SMART students and volunteers. All volunteers undergo an extensive national criminal history screening before being accepted into the program. We also have trained 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 in the home is critical to a child’s reading success. If your child is participating in SMART, he or she will bring home one to two books per month to take home and keep. We highly encourage you as a parent to read with your child every day and hope that the SMART books are providing more opportunities to engage in literacy activities for your family.

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.