Oregon nonprofit celebrates 25 years of helping kids read

S.M.A.R.T. celebrates 25 years of reading

PORTLAND, Ore. -- If there was ever an organization that needed to publish a book, its this one. 

SMART, an acronym for Start Making A Reader Today, is an Oregon nonprofit that for 25 years, has been helping students from kindergarten up to third grade learn how to read.

The organization places volunteers at elementary schools and has them read with students that may need a little extra attention. The program started with four elementary schools in Portland and four in Central Oregon, serving 600 students and has grown to work with more 10,000 students at 270 sites around the state.  

On Tuesday, SMART loaded 30 students from two of their original schools on a bus and headed to Powell's Books in downtown Portland to unveil what is a truly unique project. 

"Oregon Reads Aloud" is a collection of short children's stories written by 25 local authors with pictures from 25 local illustrators. And while the book will be available at book stores for purchase on Oct. 18, sales are not the focus of the project.

A group as dedicated as SMART needed a special way to celebrate 25 years of helping kids, and they found it


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