Jaci and Hugh Pinkston

SMART Reading has announced the Volunteer of the Year for the South Coast Area, serving Coos and Curry counties. We are proud to share that longtime volunteers Jaci and Hugh Pinkston have taken the honor for 2021.

The Pinkstons were selected from among 186 dedicated local volunteers who are committed fostering a love of reading and learning in local kids. They were ultimately selected due to their longstanding dedication as 15-year volunteers who have served as volunteer readers, site coordinators, leadership council members and ambassadors.

“We are so grateful to Jaci and Hugh for the time and talent they bring to SMART Reading,” says Cheryl Brown, SMART Reading 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 to helping kids build the skills and confidence they need to read and succeed. Jaci and Hugh are outstanding volunteers whose passion for helping young readers is evident in everything they do.”

In addition to their work with SMART Reading, the Pinkstons are also active in other community organizations including the Coquille Food Bank, Coquille Friends of the Library, 4H and Kiwanis International. Hugh also served on the Coquille City Council.

As part of SMART Reading’s Volunteer of the Year award program, local volunteers, educators and partners in each of SMART Reading’s 10 regional areas across Oregon were invited to submit nominations for outstanding volunteers. Each local winner was honored at Oregon Reads Aloud, SMART Reading’s statewide virtual event in February.

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 www.SMARTReading.org or call 541-266-7476 to learn more.

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