Mission & History

Our Mission

Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

The best time to shape a child’s future is in the first five years, a critical window of rapid brain development that does not occur at any other time. Children who hear fewer words during early childhood start school developmentally behind their peers, and may never catch up.

With unparalleled access to families with young children, Reach Out and Read medical providers give books to children at well-child visits from infancy until they start school. More importantly, they encourage families to read aloud and engage with their infants, toddlers and preschoolers every day.  

Our program is both cost-effective, and evidence-based: research shows that our program results in more frequent reading at home, accelerated vocabulary and critical brain stimulation. 

The effectiveness of the Reach Out and Read model is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  They’ve published this policy statement that recommends early literacy promotion as an essential component of pediatric care.