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While promoting her "Reach Out and Read" program, Laura Bush reads to a child at the Kayenta Indian Health Service Clinic in Kayenta, Ariz., May 8, 2003. White House photo by Susan Sterner.

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read (ROR) programs make early literacy a standard part of pediatric primary care. Pediatricians encourage parents to read aloud to their babies and infants and give books to their patients to take home at all pediatric check-ups from six months to five years of age. Parents need to know that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to help their children love books and start school ready to learn.

Pediatricians and nurse practitioners are trained in the ROR strategies of pediatric literacy. At every well-child checkup, pediatricians encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips and support. Pediatricians and nurse practitioners give every child between the ages of 6 months and five years a new, developmentally appropriate children's book to take home and keep. Volunteers in clinic waiting rooms read aloud to children, showing parents and children the pleasures and techniques of looking at books together.

Reach Out and Read is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 at Boston Medical Center (formerly Boston City Hospital) by a group of pediatricians and early childhood educators. Through both public and private funding, the ROR National Center provides funding for books, and training and technical assistance, to ROR programs throughout the country.

Information Resources:

For more information on the program or a listing of Reach Out and Read sites across the country visit Reach Out and Read on the web, write or call the program offices at:

On the web


Call or write
By phone: (617) 629-8042
By fax: (617) 629-8842
By mail: Reach Out and Read National Center
  29 Mystic Avenue
  Somerville, MA 02145

Reach Out and Read
Ready to Read, Ready to Learn
Healthy Start, Grow Smart
Careers in Teaching
White House Conference on Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers
Transition to Teaching
Teach for America
Troops to Teachers
The New Teacher Project
Mrs. Bush's Character and Community Initiative

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