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Reach Out and Read: A Pediatric Early Literacy Program
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.
Reach Out and Read Model:
Pediatric health care providers are trained in the three part, Reach Out and Read model in an effort to promote pediatric literacy:
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- At every well-child check up, doctors and nurses encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. Parents who may have difficulty reading are encouraged to invent their own stories to go with picture books and spend time naming objects with their children.
- Providers give every child between the ages of 6 months and 5 years a new, developmentally appropriate children's book to keep.
- In literacy-rich waiting room environments, often with volunteer readers, parents and children learn about the pleasures and techniques of looking at books together.
The Impact as of September 2012:
- Reach Out and Read programs are located in more than 4,900 hospitals and health centers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including 55 U.S. Military Bases.
- 4 million children participate in ROR annually
- More than 6.5 million new, developmentally appropriate books are given to families annually
- More than 28,000 pediatric medical providers have been trained in the ROR strategies of early literacy guidance
- Children who live in print-rich environments and who are read to during the first years of life are much more likely to learn to read on schedule.
- Parents of children living in poverty may lack the money to buy books, may not have the easy access to good children's books, and may not themselves have been read to as children, with the result that millions of children are growing up without books.
- Reading difficulty contributes to school failure, which increases the risk of absenteeism, school dropout, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy - all of which perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.
Reach Out and Read National Center:
- Reach Out and Read is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1989 at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center), through a collaboration of pediatricians and early childhood educators.
- Through both public and private funding, the ROR National Center provides start-up and sustainability funding for books, as well as training and technical assistance, to ROR programs throughout the country.
- Reach Out and Read is affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, and Boston University School of Medicine.
- Reach Out and Read is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
To obtain more information about starting a program, contact:
Reach Out and Read Arizona