Our L.A. Story

Reach Out and Read Los Angeles

Reach Out and Read started in Los Angeles County in 1997 at Los Angeles County/ University of Southern California (LAC + USC) Medical Center, a teaching hospital with pediatric and family medicine residents.

~~ Books open a whole new adventure that parents can use to interact and bond with their child. ~~

Until late 2003, organic growth continued as individual clinics learned of the unique program and contacted our National Center in Boston to inquire about becoming part of the program.


Our tremendous expansion at first occurred largely through word of mouth in the pediatric community, through presentations at regional and national conferences, and through published research on the efficacy of the Reach Out and Read intervention.

An enthusiastic parent:  "Sofie loves when she gets her new book from the doctor. As soon as she gets home, she walks over to the bookshelf and sits with her new book and waits for me to read it to her."

A local group of forward-thinking Pediatricians and educators got together and discussed how project coordination could speed up expansion to serve more children and families.

In March 2004, a project coordinator was hired to collaborate with the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), Reach Out and Read National Center, and Kaiser Permanente to make sure local clinics knew of the Reach Out and Read opportunity to give new books to young children and read aloud advice to parents.

 **  A Kindergarten teacher:

"The kids who have not been exposed to books hold the books

backwards, upside down - they don't understand that the picture

goes with the words. Parents forget that they are their child's first

teachers and that if they encourage their children to read at home,

then children come to school and want to learn more." **

In the first year of the initiative, 21 clinics joined; then 16 more. Then a wave of expansion occurred when participating multi-site clinics added Reach Out and Read to their other locations. All in all, more than 60 clinics completed applications and received approval over the first four years of coordinated growth in Los Angeles.


There are now more than 125 approved clinics running Reach Out and Read programs, including dozens of self-funded Kaiser Permanente clinics.

Find out more about Reach Out and Read here.



  Local California Impact
624 Reach Out and Read Programs
643,827 Children Served Annually
1,010,316 Books Distributed Annually
U.S. Totals
4.7 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.

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