Reach Out and Read

The Children’s Learning Institute is home to Reach Out and Read—Texas, a non-profit organization that builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop essential early literacy skills in young children.  Each year, Reach Out and Read serves 4.4 million children and their families in all 50 states in nearly 5,000 program sites distributing 6.5 million books and invaluable literacy advice to parents.  Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups by:

  • Speaking with parents about the importance of reading aloud, starting in infancy. 
  • Giving each child, from 6 months through 5 years of age, a new book to take home. 
  • Creating 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: 15 peer-reviewed research studies show 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. 

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Last year, more than 320,000 children received books when they visited one of the greater than 275 participating medical providers located in community health centers, children’s hospitals, and pediatric practices in Texas.

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