Official Charity

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The Portland Rose Festival is proud to support SMART (Start Making A Reader Today), who has improved the lives of Oregon’s children by promoting literacy since 1992.


Reading Opens Doors to Adventures, Opportunities and Brighter Futures

SMART will be the Festival’s Official Charity for 2016. SMART’s unique program, blending early childhood reading support and adult mentoring, provides the one-on-one attention many at-risk children need to gain reading skills and self-confidence, so the Portland Rose Festival will dedicate this year to drawing attention to literacy.

SMART pairs adult volunteers with children in need of reading support. By reading to a child once a week, volunteers help to build reading skills and self-confidence in a fun and positive environment. Each child also receives two books each month to take home and keep to inspire a love of reading outside the classroom.

“We’re thrilled to be the Portland Rose Festival’s Official Charity this year, and we’re looking forward to joining in the festivities,” says Chris Otis, SMART Executive Director. “The Rose Festival is such a celebrated Oregon institution, and the visibility this partnership brings to SMART will be immensely helpful in our work to recruit volunteers and raise awareness about our mission.”


The Rose Festival will honor SMART with a special KidsZone Reading Corner at CityFair, a presence in the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade and other ways leading up to their 25th anniversary celebration next year.