Mission and Model

What we do and how we do it.

Our Mission

Reach Out and Read prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

The Reach Out and Read Model

Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups: 

  • In pediatric exam rooms, trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud. 
  • At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age, the child receives a new book to take home. 
  • Parents become more engaged and read to their children more often. 

The program serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential in school and beyond.

Reach Out and Read provides books for children in more than 14 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.

Download the one-page description of the Reach Out and Read program (PDF).

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U.S. Totals
4.2 million
children served annually

Reach Out and Read's thousands of doctors and nurses promote early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.

  Local Impact
Awards & Endorsements Recognition for Reach Out and Read's Impact Nationwide.
Endorsed By American Academy of Pediatrics
Award Winner 2013 David M. Rubenstein Prize
Endorsed by National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Award Winner Charity Navigator Four Star Charity
Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
56 Roland Street, Suite 100D
Boston, MA 02129-1243

Parent Resources

A Prescription to Read 20 Minutes Every Day.

Suggested Reading:


Title: Stone Soup
Author: Jon J. Muth
Reading To Your Four Year Old

Sharing classic tales or nursery rhymes with your child is a wonderful way to expand cultural literacy.  Think about how often a reference to classic children's stories such as "Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" is made in conversation, with the expectation that everyone knows the stories.

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