Reach Out and Read leverages two extraordinary forces to improve early literacy and education outcomes: the power of parents and the influence of medical providers.
Reach Out and Read offers a route to address achievement gaps via early interventions in the first 1000 days of life, giving health care provider developmental surveillance tools. The best opportunity to influence 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. By realigning parents' attitudes about the effectiveness of early reading together as a preparation for school success.
When families read aloud to their young children, they give them a better start to life. 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 more than 10 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.
As the only early literacy nonprofit that works through pediatric healthcare providers, we have unparalleled access to young children, many of whom are not enrolled in high-quality early education programs – and their parents. Nearly 90% of all young children see a healthcare provider at least annually for a check-up.