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
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
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.
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.
"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.