Our Programs

Working With Medical Providers to Reach Georgia's Children

Designed 25 years ago, by a group of concerned medical practitioners, Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between trusted doctors and parents to develop early literacy skills via the existing healthcare structure. Click here to see where our Georgia sites are located. 

The Reach Out and Read model was developed by medical practitioners in recognition of prevailing brain development research as well as their own experiences working with low income and poverty-stricken families.

During regular pediatric check-ups, Reach Out and Read pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and family practitioners give new, developmentally-appropriate books to children, ages 6 months to 5 years, and advise parents on the importance of reading aloud.  

The Reach Out and Read Program model:

  • Primary care medical providers are trained to deliver early literacy anticipatory guidance to parents of children 6 months through 5 years of age during each well-child visit.

  • During well-child visits for children ages 6 months through 5 years, the provider gives the child a new, developmentally-appropriate book to take home, building a collection of 10 new books in the home before the child goes to kindergarten. The provider also repeatedly prescribes reading aloud, every day. Reach Out and Read provides books for children in more than 14 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and of course English.

  • Reach Out and Read program sites also create literacy-rich environments that may include gently-used books for waiting room use or for siblings to take home. In some waiting rooms, Reach Out and Read volunteers model for parents the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud to very young children.

Since Reach Out and Read's inception, 15 peer-reviewed studies have proven that children served by a Reach Out and Read provider show up to a six month developmental edge over their non-participating peers and parents are up to four times more likely to read aloud with their children regularly. 

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.

For pediatric primary care providers who serve Hispanic/Latino families, Reach Out and Read offers additional training and resources through our Leyendo Juntos (Reading Together) program. Developed by medical providers who are bilingual/bicultural and who have extensive experience working with Latino families, Leyendo Juntos includes bilingual prompts and culturally sensitive literacy information.

Reach Out and Read partners with nearly 5,000 program sites and distributes 6.5 million books per year, including more than 115,000 books a year and over a million books since 1994 given to the most at risk children and their families in Georgia. Reach Out and Read aims to prepare Georgia's youngest children for school success by partnering with pediatric care providers to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. We partner with more than 63 medical locations in 28 counties across the state in effort to reach all of Georgia's children in need.

Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
89 South St, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02111