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 success.
A national, nonprofit organization since 1989 now reaching 4.5 million young children and their families in need each year, Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between primary care doctors/nurse practitioners 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 well visit (checkup), Reach Out and Read doctors and nurse practitioners 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 well visit, 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 and keep.
- Reach Out and Read builds literacy-rich waiting room environments, often featuring adult volunteer readers, where parents and children can experience the joys of looking at books together.