Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
Reach Out and Read is the only national early literacy organization working directly with pediatric care providers to share the lifelong benefits that result from families reading aloud to their children every day. We know that nurturing, language-rich interactions like reading aloud together give young children a foundation for success. By integrating these experiences into pediatric care and providing the tools and encouragement families need to read aloud together, we can transform pediatric care practices and give children of all backgrounds and means a better start to life.
The Reach Out and Read program begins in infancy and continues through age five, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Pediatric teams provide new, age- and language-appropriate books and share literacy advice with children and parents at each well-child visit. The program is both cost-effective, and evidence-based: research shows that Reach Out and Read results in more frequent reading at home, more enjoyment by families reading together, and accelerated language development. The effectiveness of our model is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics in a policy statement that recommends early literacy promotion as an essential component of pediatric care.
Our practice/clinic is one of 63 program sites in Alabama that serves over 83,000 families each year, and one of three program sites in Lee County that serve over 12,665 families each year by making connections that begin in our office as our pediatric healthcare providers prescribe books to support families in understanding their children's developmental milestones. That connection then continues in the home as parents read books with their young children, fostering healthy brain development and creating strong parent-child bonds that last a lifetime.