Reach Out and Read's impact is magnified and enhanced by the
work of thousands of volunteers nationwide. Reach Out and Read's
dedicated volunteers can help support programs in their communities
by donating books (both new and gently-used), improving
literacy-rich waiting rooms, and reading aloud to children at
select program sites.
Books are at the core of our program. While Reach Out and Read
program sites strive to give out brand-new, doctor-recommended
books in the exam room at all visits, not all sites have the
funding needed to ensure that each child gets a book. Volunteers
can help sites fundraise, enabling them to leverage the exceptional
discounts provided by our literacy partners and not available
In addition, Reach Out and Read's literacy-rich waiting room
model creates a need for gently-used books in both waiting rooms
and exam rooms - for an older sibling, at a sick visit, or simply
to help build a Reach Out and Read child's home library. Volunteers
of all ages can host a new or gently-used book drive through their
own personal networks: community groups, schools, workplaces,
or faith-based organizations.
Reach Out and Read practices make books available in waiting
rooms for families to read and take home. If you would like to
donate new or gently-used books for children or teenagers, please
contact your State
or Regional Reach Out and Read Affiliate or, if there is no
Affiliate in your area, your local program site.
- Gently-used books have intact covers and pages, and are clean
- Donations of textbooks or used coloring or activity books
cannot be accepted.
Help Create a
Literacy-Rich Waiting Room
Volunteers can help to improve the waiting room of a Reach Out
and Read program site in their communities. Consider donating:
- Gently-used books
- New bookcases or child-sized furniture (benches, tables,
chairs) to help create a reading corner
- A story time rug
- Children's or parenting magazines
- Bulletin boards or other displays
Art students or artists can create murals, artwork, or
photographs with literary themes or characters (within the
parameters of the individual Reach Out and Read program site).
Become a Volunteer Reader
Volunteer readers can provide a positive reading experience for
children in waiting rooms, as well as modeling reading aloud for
parents. Volunteer readers show parents just how much fun reading
with children can be, and provide helpful tips for getting children
excited about books.
However, not all clinics and practices can accommodate
volunteer readers, so please keep in mind that the need for
volunteers varies according to the needs of each Reach Out and Read
program site. In addition, many program sites
require background checks and volunteer orientations, and many have
age limits for volunteers. Download our volunteer reader
brochure for more information.
How to Apply
Use our interactive map to find a Reach Out
and Read program in your community. When you fill out the online
form, your inquiry will be sent to the program site(s) you have
identified. Due to the busy nature of many of our programs, and
depending on their capacity to integrate volunteers into their
program, it may take some time to hear back.