Reach Out and Read is an evidenced based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the imprtance of reading aloud.
Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. The more than 3.9 million families served annually by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a six-month developmental edge over their peers.
Reach Out and Read prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. 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.
The Reach Out and Read Model
Pediatric healthcare providers (including pediatricians, family physicians, and pediatric nurse practitioners) are trained in the three-part Reach Out and Read model to promote early literacy and school readiness: •In the exam room, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. •The pediatric primary care provider gives every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep. •In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich environment. Where possible, volunteer readers engage the children, modeling for parents the pleasures - and techniques - of reading aloud.