Start Making a Reader Today, or better known as SMART is a program that Lewis & Clark has partnered with for a number of years now and it has proved to be something that our students really enjoy participating in. 8 students are participating in the program this semester. They head over to Woodmere Elementary in Southeast on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and spend an hour reading to the students there, help to improve their literacy and reading confidence. Here are some comments on their experience volunteering with SMART this semester from Jeff and Isabel…
“My name is Isabel Ball and I am a first year student at Lewis & Clark College. It has been an incredibly unique experience to get the chance to volunteer with the 3CE SMART program in just my first semester here. Getting off campus one day a week with my peers to read with elementary school students has helped me in feeling connected to the both the L & C community and the greater Portland community’s non-profits and school districts. Being welcomed with open arms by Woodmere Elementary staff and students has been both motivating and encouraging to me in ways that reach beyond just the experience. SMART is a small time commitment and an excellent way to share the knowledge we are fortunate enough to get here at L & C with kids who deserve all our opportunities and more.”
“My name is Jeff and I’ve worked with kids before, at a climbing gym and a summer camp. I’ve seen how much energy they can have when they get excited. Every time I volunteer with SMART the kids are as excited to read as any I’ve seen climbing a rock wall or playing tag. I feel truly privileged to be able to contribute to these kids’ development in a way that they so enjoy. I must say, their enthusiasm is contagious.”
Natalie Dole is a Community Engagement Coordinator in 3CE. Jeff and Isabel are volunteers with 3CE’s on-going SMART program.