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 nearly 4.5 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 5,500 program
sites and distributes 6.5 million books per year. The program
currently serves one in five 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
history of Reach Out and Read (PDF).