Reach Out and Read

An Evidence-Based Practice


Reach Out and Read (ROR) is an evidence-based non-profit organization that promotes literacy in children by providing books to pediatric doctors offices and teaching parents about the importance of reading aloud.

The program provides new, age- and developmentally- appropriate books that participating children are given every 6 months through five years of age. Participating pediatric healthcare providers are given training to speak with parents about the importance of reading age-appropriate books aloud with their children every day. The program also shows pediatric offices how to create a rich literary environment in the waiting area and encourages volunteer readers to read with the children.

Goal / Mission

The mission of Reach Out and Read is to help prepare young children to succeed in school, by partnering with physicians to encourage parents and children to read aloud together.

Results / Accomplishments

Reach Out and Read currently has programs in 4,600 healthcare locations and serves 3.9 million families. More than one third of children living in poverty in the United States participate in ROR programs.

Multiple studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of ROR. One study completed in 2003 found that among children 33 to 39 months, expressive and receptive language scores were significantly associated with the number of ROR well-child visits as well as the number of books they received from their parents. In another study completed in 2002, both English and non-English speaking families who participated in ROR read more at bedtime, and parents reported that reading was their own or their child’s favorite activity. Another study conducted in 2001 found that high-risk urban families with increased exposure to ROR saw larger increases in their children’s language scores.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Reach Out and Read National Center
56 Roland Street, Suite 100D
Boston, MA 02129
Education / Literacy
Education / Childcare & Early Childhood Education
Social Environment / Children's Social Environment
Date of implementation
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Adults, Families

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