Since its inception, Reach Out and Read's program has been based on scientific evidence.
We know our program works because it has been proven to time and time again by independent and peer reviewed research. The evidence shows that our program has a major impact on families' attitudes and practices towards reading, children's language abilities, and the quality of pediatric care at participating clinics.
- Families are 2.5 times as likely to read together with their children, and 2 times as likely to read 2-3 times a week after participating in our program.
- Children who participate in Reach Out and Read programming have significantly higher language scores and increased receptive and expressive vocabulary.
- At participating clinics, families are more likely to rate their pediatricians as helpful and were more likely to return for their next well-child visit.
High P.C., LaGasse L., Becker S., Ahlgren I., Gardner A. “Literacy promotion in primary care pediatrics: can we make a difference?” Pediatrics 2000; 104, p. 927–934
Families participating in the Reach Out and Read model read to their children more often, and their toddlers’ receptive and expressive vocabulary scores were higher. This effect held in parents of different levels of education and English proficiency
Parents whose children (< 3 years) had received books and educational materials during well-child visits were more likely than parents in a control group to report that they shared books with their children, and to cite sharing books as a favorite activity or a child’s favorite activity.
Encouraging Parent–Child Book Sharing: Potential Additive Benefits of Literacy Promotion in Health Care and the Community, Canfield et al., Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Parents who received both a book and guidance through Reach Out and Read about the importance of reading were more likely to engage in literacy activities with their children through book sharing at home.
The Good Habit of Reading (El Buen Habito de la Lectura): Parental Reactions to an Enhanced Reach Out and Read Program in a Clinic for the Underserved Byington et al., Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
This qualitative study examined the thank-you notes sent to staff at a Reach Out and Read clinic by Hispanic families. Families expressed thanks for the books received, as well as the literacy advice given by doctors and nurses. Many families believed that the books and advice promoted the habit of reading and demonstrated respect the staff held for the families and their children.
The Impact of a Clinic-Based Literacy Intervention on Language Development in Inner-City Preschool Children, Mendelsohn et al., Pediatrics
High-risk urban families participating in Reach Out and Read read more frequently to their children. Children exposed to Reach Out and Read had higher receptive language scores (mean: 94.5 vs. 84.8) and expressive language scores (mean: 84.3 vs. 81.6). Increased exposure to Reach Out and Read led to larger increases in language scores (receptive and expressive).
In a study using direct observation of children’s homes, parents were more likely to read aloud to their children and enjoy reading together when their families had more encounters with the Reach Out and Read program.
Effectiveness of a Primary Care Intervention to Support Reading Aloud: A Multicenter Evaluation Needlman et al., Ambulatory Pediatrics
In a multicenter study, families exposed to Reach Out and Read were more likely to report reading aloud at bedtime, to read aloud three or more days per week, mention reading aloud as a favorite parenting activity, and own 10 or more children’s books.
The Impact of Early Literacy Guidance on Language Skills of 3-Year-Olds, Theriot et al., Clinical Pediatrics
Among children aged 33 months to 39 months attending a well-child clinic in Louisville, KY, expressive and receptive language scores were significantly associated with both the number of Reach Out and Read-enhanced well-child visits they had attended, and with the number of books purchased for them by their parents. This finding supports a “dose effect” for the Reach Out and Read intervention—the more Reach Out and Read, the higher the score.
Exposure to Reach Out and Read and Vocabulary Outcomes in Inner City Preschoolers, Sharif et al., Journal of the National Medical Association
Children participating in Reach Out and Read had higher receptive vocabulary scores (mean: 81.5 vs. 74.3). They also had higher scores on the Home Literacy Orientation (measured reading to child and number of books in the home) than children not participating in Reach Out and Read.
Kindergarten Readiness and Performance of Latino Children Participating in Reach Out and Read, Diener et al., Journal of Community Medicine and Health EducationThis study showed that a small sample of Latino children who participated in Reach Out and Read from six months of age had average or above average literacy skills by the end of kindergarten, as well as high-quality home literacy environments.
Study Finds that Reach Out and Read Enhances Clinic Morale, Increases Provider Satisfaction, and Improves Patient-Clinician Relationships Heather Burton, MD and Dipesh Navsaria, MD, Wisconsin Medical Journal
A new study evaluated the effect of Reach Out and Read on clinic values and attitudes and found that implementation of Reach Out and Read enhanced clinic morale, increased provider satisfaction, and improved patient-clinician relationships.
The Role of Clinic Culture in Implementation of Primary Care Interventions: The Case of Reach Out and Read King et al., Academic Pediatrics
Successful implementation of the Reach Out and Read program was related to the culture of the clinic. Staff at clinics that struggled to implement Reach Out and Read found their jobs burdensome and reported lacks in communication. Staff at successful Reach Out and Read sites worked as a team and expressed strong commitments to their communities.
Caretakers who are introduced to Reach Out and Read demonstrate a significant increase in compliance with Well-Child Visits (WCV), with the largest differences found among Latino families and children of less-educated families.
The Value of Book Distribution in a Clinic-Based Literacy Intervention Program Jones et al., Clinical Pediatrics
Parents participating in Reach Out and Read were more likely to rate their child’s pediatrician as helpful than those not participating. Pediatricians in the Reach Out and Read group were more likely to rate parents as receptive than those in the non-Reach Out and Read group. Mothers in the Reach Out and Read group were two times more likely to report enjoyment in reading together with their child than those in the non-Reach Out and Read group.