Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Our program builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop early reading skills in children. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based model into regular well-child checkups by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children to take home and keep.

The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age five, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income families, where children are most at risk for reading failure. Every child in the program enters kindergarten with a home library of at least ten books and parents who understand the importance of reading aloud. Reach Out and Read was founded in 1989 by a group of pediatricians and educators who recognized that what happens in infancy and toddlerhood truly sets the stage for achievement later in life.

To find out how you can participate in this program, contact Champagne Selman at cselman@smartstartofmeck.org.