Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization
of medical providers who promote early literacy and school
readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by integrating
children's books and advice to parents about the importance of
reading aloud into well-child visits.
Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between
parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading
skills in children, beginning in infancy. As recommended by the
American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read incorporates
early literacy into pediatric practice, equipping parents with
tools and knowledge to ensure that their children are prepared to
learn when they start school.
Reach Out and Read serves more than 4 million children and their
families annually. Reach Out and Read families read together more
often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger
vocabularies and stronger language skills. During the preschool
years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six
months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary
tests. These early foundational language skills help start children
on a path of success when they enter school.
Reach Out and Read was founded in 1989 with its first program at
Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center). By 2001, dramatic
growth brought the Reach Out and Read model to all 50 states, with
almost 1,500 sites distributing 1.6 million books per year.
Today, Reach Out and Read partners with more than 5,200 program
sites and distributes 6.5 million books per year. The program
currently serves more than one-third of all children living in
poverty in this country, and continues to grow each year with the
vision that one day the Reach Out and Read model will be a part of
every young child's checkups.
history of Reach Out and Read (PDF).