Intervention: Start Making a Reader Today® (SMART®)
Reading Program Overview
Start Making a Reader Today® (SMART®) is a volunteer tutoring program
widely implemented in Oregon for students in grades K–2 who are at risk of
reading failure. The program is designed to be a low-cost, easy-to-implement
intervention. Volunteer tutors 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.
One study of SMART® met the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
evidence standards. The one study included more than 125 students in first
grade in six schools across four school districts in Oregon. 1 The WWC
considers the extent of evidence for SMART® to be small for alphabetics,
fluency, and comprehension. No studies that met WWC evidence standards
with or without reservations addressed general reading achievement.
Start Making a Reader Today® was found to have potentially positive
effects on alphabetics, fluency, and comprehension.
1 The evidence presented in this report is based on available research.
2 These numbers show the average and range of improvement indices for
all findings in the study. The range is provided only if more than one outcome
was measured within a domain.
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