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About Us

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. With more than 5,000 participating programs across the nation – 47 in Greater Philadelphia – Reach Out and Read teaches millions of families the importance of reading aloud.

The Power of a Book

Reach Out and Read was developed by pediatricians and early childhood educators who recognized that early exposure to books and reading greatly increases a child’s chance for healthy development and school success.

A national, nonprofit, school readiness organization since 1989 now reaching 4 million young children and their families in need each year, Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between doctors and patients to spread the message that reading aloud is the most important thing parents can do to help their children love books and start school ready to learn.

How Reach Out and Read Works

Here’s how Reach Out and Read works to make books part of a healthy childhood:

  • At every checkup, Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses encourage parents to read aloud to their young children. Parents who have difficulty reading are encouraged to invent stories to go with picture books and name objects with their children.
  • During the checkup, every Reach Out and Read child between the ages of 6 months and 5 years is given a brand-new, developmentally-appropriate book to take home.
  • Reach Out and Read builds literacy-rich waiting room environments, often featuring volunteer readers, where parents and children can experience the joys of looking at books together.

Reach Out and Read

Greater Philadelphia Facts

  • 47 Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia Programs
  • 20 affiliated healthcare organizations
  • 600 participating primary care doctors and nurse practitioners
  • 42,000 young children in need served annually
  • 78,000 books prescribed each year

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