Research findings from published studies show that Reach Out and Read works. In fact, what distinguishes Reach Out and Read from other literacy interventions is that it is evidence-based. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special focus 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.

Why Reach Out and Read Is an Effective Intervention


  • A trusted messenger: Parents trust and value the advice they receive from their child’s medical provider. Reach Out and Read is unique in partnering with the child’s first medical provider, in the special setting of the pediatric health examination to promote a child’s literacy.
  • Broad scope and reach: Participating medical providers offer the Reach Out and Read intervention to all children at each well-child visit from 6 months through 5 years of age. Most children see their pediatrician at least 10 times during this period.
  • Hope for educational success: Reach Out and Read explicitly ties reading aloud to later school success; this strategy supports the aspiration that parents have for their children.
  • An army of volunteers: The Reach Out and Read intervention is delivered by a team of over 200 volunteer doctors, nurses, medical staff, and caring adults. Because all Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses volunteer the time they spend on early literacy, the intervention is extremely cost effective.
  • Stretching every dollar: Deep discounts from publishers, as well as an innovative bulk-purchasing program, enable Reach Out and Read to buy more than twice as many books as it could at standard retail pricing. These prices permit us to serve more children at a lower program cost, and purchase the highest-quality book titles in 14 languages.


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