Thursday, December 15, 2011
Start Making A Reader Today
As a reminder, I am celebrating the month of giving here on my blog by highlighting a different charity each day of the month. I am looking for a few more charities to round out the month. Do you have a favorite you would like to see highlighted? Let me know!
I like to read, and write, obviously. My friends often tease me because I can read pretty quickly. If I have a relatively short book (a few hundred pages) and a few uninterrupted hours, I can read an entire book. I have always been a reader, even from a young age. I like books and I enjoy the experience of curling up with a good book and forgetting the world for a while.
I can't imagine a life where I couldn't read. I read all day long, every day. I am on the web reading news, information, writing and reading blogs, plus reading recipes, ingredients and even for my bills!
Here in Oregon, the Start Making A Reader Today organization is in its 20th year of helping children gain confidence in reading.
From their website: If children don’t learn to read by third grade, they can’t read to learn.
SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) recruits thousands of volunteers to read one-on-one with PreK-3rd grade children in need of literacy support. Every week for seven months, volunteers read aloud with kids to help them gain confidence in their reading ability. Educators agree this helps reinforce reading and language skills learned in the classroom. 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 partners with more than 200 schools that have high populations of children from low income families, as studies show they are less likely to have books in the home. To encourage reading outside the classroom, SMART gives each child 14 new, take-home books—two per month during the course of the program.
Every school year SMART mobilizes up to 10,000 volunteers. A donation to SMART ensures the organization can recruit, train and manage its statewide network of volunteers, while getting books in the hands of kids who need them most. The vision of SMART is an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed.
There are several ways you can help. Cash donations are very valuable in both managing their volunteer needs, but also in purchasing the new books that are given to the children each month. If you are in Oregon, you can donate your time as a volunteer reader. There is also a gift store where you can buy SMART apparel and other items (these are not tax deductible).
If you are reading this blog, then you understand the importance of being able to read. Please consider acquainting yourself with SMART, and see if they are a good fit for you!