Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Start Making A Reader Today “Reading Matters” tour visited Westside Elementary School on April 18.
Principal Bill Newton welcomed Sen. Chuck Thomsen, Rep. Mark Johnson and other citizens, and other community members who got a direct experience of what the SMART reading is all about, by spending a half hour reading with youngsters who are involved in the program.
In all five Hood River County elementary schools, adult volunteers read each week with youngsters in grades K-3. SMART is an independent nonprofit that relies on private donations for nearly all its funding.
Newton read testimonials from teachers about the positive influence SMART has on children, and SMART Executive Director Chris Otis gave an overview of SMART, which operates at counties around the state.
Also attending were donor Mary Jane Heppe and Walmart’s Stephanie Serak and Eric Smith. Walmart was primary sponsor of the SMART event Tongue Twister Tournament in February, which raised $4,000 for the program.
Westside SMART coordinators Sally Pearson and Teresa Burrows, both volunteers, were present, along with SMART development manager Denise Harrison and SMART area coordinator Paula Seid, who works directly with each school coordinator in Hood River and schools in four other northeast Oregon counties.
Over the past 20 years, SMART has served more than 161,000 children in Oregon with the help of 108,000 volunteers, and has provided over 2 million books for children to take home and keep. Research shows that children who do not learn to read by third grade are more likely to struggle with reading as adults.
More like this story
- Pick of the Week: ‘Living in the Era of Mega-Fires’ May 24
- The Porch for May 20
- Columbia Center offers Summer Arts class scholarships
- HR Valley Residents Committee: ‘Long-term watchdogs’ celebrate Sunday
- Parkdale teacher wins ‘Math Excellence Award’
- Letters to the Editor for May 20
- Morrison Park: Yes to re-zone, but dig in first
- Another Voice: Mexico: my thoughts and personal experiences
- Police Log, April 24 to May 14
- ‘No’ on NORCOR bond, close races for Port, Schools
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge