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SMART Reading announces Volunteer of the Year

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MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- SMART Reading has announced the Volunteer of the Year for the Central Area, serving Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Grant, and Harney counties. We are proud to share that Cathy Cooper, a volunteer Site Coordinator at the 21st Century Learning Center in Madras and Warm Springs has taken the honor for 2020.

Cathy Cooper was selected from among 400 dedicated local volunteers who are committed to fostering a love of reading and learning in local kids. Cathy was ultimately selected for her dedication to SMART Reading and longevity with the program, her willingness to lead two new SMART programs in Madras and Warm Springs, and for creating a positive, fun space for kids and her volunteers.

“We are so grateful to Cathy for the time and talent she brings to SMART Reading,” says Jennifer Zardinejad, SMART Reading Central Area Manager. “Our work to ensure that all kids in Oregon can realize their full potential through reading simply wouldn’t be possible without our community of volunteers who dedicate time each week to helping kids build the skills and confidence they need to read and succeed. Cathy is an outstanding volunteer who meets challenges with a smile and positive personality, and works to make sure SMART Reading is successful at her sites.”

As part of SMART Reading’s Volunteer of the Year award program, local volunteers, educators, and partners in each of SMART Reading’s ten regional areas across Oregon were invited to submit nominations for outstanding volunteers. Each local winner will have the opportunity to attend the Alphabet Ball, held in February in Portland, where a statewide winner will be announced.

About SMART Reading

SMART Reading is a statewide children’s literacy nonprofit that serves kids in Oregon’s highest need schools with two ingredients critical for literacy and learning success: one-on-one reading time and access to books. We mobilize volunteers to read with PreK through third-grade children, building confidence, literacy skills and a love of reading. Since 1992, we have paired over 139,000 volunteers to read with 222,000 children, and have put 2.8 million books in the homes of the children we serve. Visit or call 541-797-7726 learn more.

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