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.
Children served since 1999 in Northwest Louisiana
54 medical providers promote language building and early literacy with parents of our youngest citizens.
At well-child visits, medical providers share more than 10,000 books annually in 7 pediatric clinics, and support parents to be their children’s best learning advocate.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups:
- Trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud, starting in infancy.
- At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age, the child receives a new book to take home.
- Reach Out and Read sites create literacy-rich environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use and/or volunteer readers to model for parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children.
As a result of this three-part intervention at the doctor's office, parents become more engaged and read to their children more often at home. The time spent reading translates into quantifiable gains: Our evidence base of 15 peer-reviewed research studies shows that during the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help propel children on a path of success when they enter school.
The program serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities. In June 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared literacy promotion to be an "essential component of pediatric care" for all children, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond.
A proven early literacy intervention.
What distinguishes Reach Out and Read from other interventions is its large and growing evidence base. Since 1991, the Reach Out and Read model has been studied by academic investigators in a variety of settings, providing an extensive body of peer-reviewed research on the effects of the program. The body of published research supporting the efficacy of the Reach Out and Read model is more extensive than for any other psychosocial intervention in general pediatrics. Additional studies that address language outcomes in children are in progress.
- Parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children.
- Reach Out and Read reaches the child through effectively teaching the parent to start lifelong learning in the home.
- During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.
In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared literacy promotion to be an "essential component of pediatric care" for all children, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond.
Our Most Recent Research
Hutton et al., Pediatrics
Reading aloud to young children promotes development of a part of the brain associated with learning to read. Imaging of brain activity in 3- to 5-year-old children as they listened to age-appropriate stories showed differences in brain activation according to how much the children had been read to at home. Read the complete study.