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The Reach Out and Read Model

Pediatric healthcare providers (including pediatricians, family physicians, and pediatric nurse practitioners) are trained in the three-part ROR model to promote early literacy and school readiness:

  • In the exam room, doctors and nurse practitioners speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement.
  • The pediatric primary care provider gives every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep.  Books are available in 13 different languages.
  • In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich environment. Where possible, volunteer readers entertain the children, modeling for parents the pleasures - and techniques - of reading aloud.

ROR Program (PDF)

Reach Out and Read's Evidence Base

What distinguishes Reach Out and Read from other interventions is that it is evidence-based. Since 1991, the Reach Out and Read model has been studied by academic investigators in a variety of settings, providing a growing 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.

Key findings:

  • Parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children.
  • Children served by Reach Out and Read show significant developmental gains in language and a six-month developmental edge over their peers in the preschool years.
  • Children served by Reach Out and Read also score higher on vocabulary tests and school readiness assessments.

Examine the research studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of the Reach Out and Read model.


The Reach Out and Read National Center (Boston, MA)

The Reach Out and Read National Center oversees the implementation and execution of the Reach Out and Read model of early literacy promotion nationwide. In addition to developing the official training curriculum and coordinating all research and quality improvement initiatives, the National Center also builds national partnerships with corporations, foundations, and other literacy and children's organizations. The National Center provides medical leadership for all Reach Out and Read Programs and Coalitions, creates standardized literacy and marketing materials, and facilitates the sharing of best practices. The National Center also works directly with publishers to secure significant discounts on children's books, develops national fundraising strategies, and leads all federal advocacy campaigns.

Contact the Reach Out and Read National Center.



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