In the community

It’s almost stORytime in Malheur County

ONTARIO – Next Tuesday, an assemblage of school buses will pull up at the Four Rivers Cultural Center to unleash a throng of kindergarteners.

The youngsters will be there for the fourth annual stORytime, an early literacy campaign focused on making sure kids become proficient readers.

StORytime began in 2015 as part of the now-defunct Oregon Education Investment Board’s educational reforms.

“They picked the five most impoverished parts of the state for a pilot program,” said Sherri Hironaka, a retired administrator for the Ontario School District who has volunteered to coordinate the event since it started. “The program was meant to encourage parents to help their kids get a good start at school.”

Hironaka said she and Kelly Poe of the Malheur Educational Service District helped start the program in 2015. That year, roughly 500 students from across . . .