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The local dental manufacturing company will sponsor the SMART program in Newberg this school year

A-dec Inc. has partnered with the Newberg School District to sponsor the SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) reading program in the district and support reading and literacy for area children.

"We're grateful for A-dec's longtime support of SMART and this expanded partnership, which funds our Newberg programs for the 2018-19 school year," SMART executive director Chris Otis said. "A-dec's sponsorship provides stability, prepares us for future growth, and most importantly, ensures Newberg's children can read and are empowered to succeed."

Under the sponsorship, the Newberg-based dental equipment manufacturer will underwrite SMART's various Newberg programs, including ones at Joan Austin and Edwards Elementary.

The program at Joan Austin, where 60 percent or more of students are from economically disadvantaged households and 13 percent are English language learners, features 19 volunteers who read with 50 students.

Partnering with Newberg Early Bird Rotary, SMART deploys 25 volunteers to read with 100 students at Edwards; 60 percent or more of students at Edwards Elementary are from economically disadvantaged households, with 27 percent English language learners.

A-dec's sponsorship will also support a partnership with Head Start of Yamhill County to serve 16 to 25 pre-school students in a new program reaching Newberg's youngest students.

From October through May, each SMART child will receive weekly one-on-one reading time with an adult volunteer, as well as 14 new books to keep and share with family. SMART has demonstrated that 95 percent of students that go through the program show improvements in literacy development, confidence and meeting grade-level benchmarks.

As a part of the sponsorship, A-dec employees will also have a chance to volunteer as Readers with the program.

"SMART does excellent work in our community and all of us at A-dec are pleased to be involved," A-dec CEO Scott Parrish said. "I am always encouraged when employees can get more deeply involved in the community, and I'm pleased employees will have an opportunity to volunteer."

SMART is seeking volunteers, including site coordinators, for all three programs in Newberg for the 2018-2019 school year. Site coordinators take the lead in implementing and overseeing the program at each site, along with the supporting staff and volunteers.

For more information about SMART or to sign up to volunteer, visit getsmartoregon.org or call 503-391-8423.

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