Parent Engagement

Randomized controlled trial study conducted?

SMART Reading


To spark joy and opportunity through the magic of a shared book.

Program Description

Start Making a Reader Today® (SMART®) is a volunteer program widely implemented in Oregon for students in grades preK-3 who are at risk of reading failure. The program is designed to be a low-cost, easy-to-implement intervention. Volunteer readers go into schools where at least 40% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and read one-on-one with students twice a week for half an hour. Typically, one volunteer works with two children on four types of activities: reading to the child, reading with the child, re-reading with the child, and asking the child questions about what has been read. The program also gives each student two new books a month to encourage families to read together.

Type of service
Academic Intervention
Other type of service

Reading engagement and motivation.

Year Started
Headquarter Location (City, State)
Portland, Oregon
States of Operation
Most recent number of students served
Subject Offered
Grade Levels
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade
Languages Offered
Percentage of tutors who can speak a language other than English
The largest percentage breakdowns beyond English are: Spanish=8%, French=1%. Note: Not all volunteers completed this voluntary part of the volunteer application.
Race/Ethnicity breakdown of tutors
Hispanic or Latino- 4%, American Indian or Alaska Native 2%, Asian 1%, Black or African American <1%, White 87%
During School
Delivery Mode
Tutor-Student Ratio
Number of Sessions Per Week
1 to 2
Does your program engage with parents?
Family Engagement Description

The program gives each student two new books a month to encourage families to read together. Information is periodically sent home with students (tips and released resources for reading with a child). Parents can also opt in to our email list to receive additional updates.

Organization Type
Customer Type
Cost to District/ School/ Non-Profit
Cost to Student
Type of Tutor
Randomized controlled trial (RCT) study conducted?
RCT effect size
ES = +0.40
Quasi-experimental (QED) study conducted?
Contact Name
Chris Otis, Executive Director
Contact Email

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