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SMART (Start Making A Reader Today)

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KGW Making Readers Campaign Raises Over $40,000 for Literacy Group

Wells Fargo, Portland Trail Blazers, SMART and KGW NewsChannel 8 Give More Than 16,000 Books to Local Kids.

Portland, OR, December 16, 2009 --( Local children from low-income families will receive more than 16,000 books after literacy lovers in the local region donated more than $40,000 to SMART (Start Making A Reader Today). The funds were raised through the first annual KGW Making Readers campaign held recently in partnership with Wells Fargo, Portland Trail Blazers and KGW NewsChannel 8.

Throughout the month of October, the campaign encouraged the public to volunteer to read to children or make cash donations of any amount. Donations were made at Wells Fargo locations and ATMs in Oregon, by texting the word SMART to 90999, and online.

“Thanks to the generosity of the community and our partners, SMART is able to put more than 16,000 books in the hands of kids who need them most,” said Terry Shanley, CEO of SMART. “In these uncertain times, it is imperative to keep literacy at the forefront. No other ability is more fundamental to successful employment, and a literate society is one that thrives. Those who gave to this campaign truly understand the importance of learning to read early—thank you.”

Wells Fargo customers can continue to donate to SMART at almost any Wells Fargo ATM in Oregon and southwest Washington.

“Studies show that books in the home are essential in encouraging a child’s literacy,” said Don Pearson, regional president of Wells Fargo. “We are pleased to take part in a campaign designed to help Oregon’s most at-risk youth from falling behind. Education is a major focus of our corporate contributions because of the important role it plays in building a healthy community.”

“Giving children access to all the tools necessary to be successful in school is a top priority for the Trail Blazers,” Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said. “We believe the work SMART is doing, through lending that extra assist of one-on-one time and providing books to kids, is raising achievement. It is our pleasure to partner with Wells Fargo and KGW in support of SMART in its work to promote literacy and ensure our children a successful future.”

DJ Wilson, president and general manager of KGW NewsChannel 8, said, “Offering our viewers and online visitors an opportunity to participate in supporting the mission of SMART in a meaningful way certainly resonated with our community. We are thrilled with the visibility the public awareness campaign generated for SMART and our partners Wells Fargo and the Portland Trail Blazers. Our ability to generate much needed resources for SMART with this campaign through the vast resources of our three organizations was just plain ‘smart’, and we could not be more pleased with the end result.”

The campaign kicked off Oct. 4 at Wells Fargo Fan Fest, an intra-squad scrimmage among the Portland Trail Blazer players. The campaign was promoted at Trail Blazers games through in-arena messaging and on the Trail Blazers radio and television broadcasts. Final campaign results were displayed at the Rose Garden Arena during the Trail Blazers game Nov. 3.

About SMART® (Start Making A Reader Today)
SMART is a nonprofit that envisions an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed. We engage community volunteers to read one-on-one with K-3 children who need literacy support. Participating children also receive new books each month to keep and read with their families. Since 1992, thousands of SMART volunteers have been inspiring little readers through storytelling. Together with support from the community, we are building brighter futures for Oregonians big and small. Volunteer or donate today. Visit or call 1-877-598-4633.

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SMART (Start Making A Reader Today)
Melissa Logan

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