We know that Reach Out and Read is an effective early literacy
intervention from our extensive evidence base. Since its
foundation, the Reach Out and Read model has been studied by a
variety of academic investigators, providing an extensive body of
peer-reviewed research on the effects of the program. This
shows that parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four
times more likely to read aloud to their children. Also, children
served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of
their non-Reach Out and Read peers on pre-school vocabulary
approach is compelling, but we also hear about how Reach Out and
Read affects children's lives from the stories that our medical
providers tell us. At the cutting edge of the program, they are
able to put a human face on the Reach Out and Read story.
They see how excited infants and toddlers are to receive
new books, especially in the low-income communities that Reach Out
and Read often serves….
"I still am surprised when a family responds with "We don't
have any books"! It is wonderful to see the smiles on the child's
face when they take home their very own book!"
"The parents and children look forward to receiving books at
their checkups. The children are eager to read out loud and look at
the pictures. Sometimes this is the first and only time a child
will receive a book."
"One little patient of mine had parents in the Military, who
were going to be relocated across the country. His Mother told me
that he was allowed to take one suitcase of "important things" -
the rest would arrive in a week or two. He filled up half of his
suitcase with his Reach Out and Read books!"
…How their guidance encourages parents to read to their
"We had given a book to a 6-month-old infant during
the checkup. Mom said they did not have books at home. We talked
about the importance of early literacy and a language-rich
environment to help develop vocabulary and how it all affects brain
development. Mom was very interested in what we talked about. But,
when she noticed how intrigued baby was with the book, that was
when she smiled and said "Maybe we need to get a couple more books
because it seems that he likes them!""
…And, most importantly, how families reading together
supports the healthy development of children in their
"Jayden was a 2-year-old when I first saw him. He was
completely attached to his mom, made no eye contact, and spoke
absolutely no words other than "mama" and "dada". His mother
was from a low-income background, going through a divorce, and said
she could not afford evaluation or speech therapy. I spent about 30
minutes explaining the importance of reading aloud and having fun
together. Slowly but surely Jayden showed progress, and at his last
visit he came running to me, hugged me and said "Thank you Dr. K--"
in a cute but intelligible way. I could understand close to 50% of
all that he said, thanks to the Reach Out and Read books that I
kept giving him every visit. Yes, books do make a difference, a big