SMART Reading Matters Logo 


  • SMART has launched Reading Matters to bring awareness to the importance of reading, and to provide resources and tools for improving children’s literacy in Oregon.
  • Reading is the gateway to learning, opening doors to faraway adventures, new possibilities and promising futures. Without strong reading skills, children will face a host of difficult challenges throughout their lives. Research shows that children who aren’t reading at grade level by third grade are more likely to drop out of high school, struggle with reading as adults, face unemployment and even end up in jail.
  • That’s why Reading Matters. And that’s why SMART helps thousands of Oregon children each year develop the skills and self-confidence they need to read and succeed.


There are many reasons why reading is a critical gateway skill opening the door to a child’s educational and life success.

  1. Reading is the most important subject in school. A child needs reading in order to master most of the other subjects.
  1. In third grade, students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Third-graders who aren’t reading at grade level are four times more likely to drop out of high school than their reading proficient peers. Right now in Oregon, 14,000 third-graders aren’t reading at grade level.
  1. It’s estimated that over $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems.
  1. 85 percent of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.
  1. The more literate adults are, the more likely they’ll be employed full time in good jobs with benefits. Average weekly earnings increase with each level of literacy.
  1. The educational careers of 25-40 percent of American children are imperiled because they don’t read well enough, quickly enough or easily enough.

Click here to download the Reading Matters fact sheet.


Reading Matters Parent Resources
Reading Matters Volunteer Resources

Reading Matters Testimonials