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:
- Trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the
importance of reading aloud, starting in infancy.
- At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age,
the child receives a new book to take home.
- Many Reach Out and Read program sites create literacy-rich
environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use
and/or volunteer readers to model for parents the techniques of
reading aloud to young children.
As a result of this three-part intervention at the doctor's
office, parents become more engaged and read to their children more
often at home. The time spent reading translates into quantifiable
gains: Our evidence base of 16 peer-reviewed research studies shows
that 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 propel children on a path of success when they enter
The program serves nearly 4.5 million children and their
families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving
those in low-income communities. In June 2014, the American Academy
of Pediatrics declared literacy promotion to be an "essential
component of pediatric care" for all children, referencing Reach
Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and
prepare children to achieve their potential in school and
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).
Get Adobe Acrobat