Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a national literacy program that distributes new books to infants and children up to the age of five. Children receive age-appropriate books at their wellness exams.

Through the Reach Out and Read program at participating Neighborhood Healthcare locations, more than 9,000 children receive a new book to take home and keep every year.

Parents learn the importance of reading to their children out loud which increases their vocabulary, language skills, and ensures children are more ready to enter preschool and kindergarten.  Reading to a child also builds curiosity, cognitive ability, and strong memory skills, even before a child learns to talk. Medical staff at Neighborhood Healthcare work with families throughout the pediatric exam to model reading out loud with the child.

Reach Out and Read has 3 key components to be an effective program in the medical setting:

  1. Pediatricians and nurses provide advice to parents about the importance of reading books to their children between the ages of 0-5
  2. Developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and fun books are given to the children during well-baby visits
  3. Volunteer readers share books with children and their parents in the waiting rooms