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.
The first five years of life offer a critical window for
learning, with rapid brain development that does not occur at any
other time. Many children, especially from low-income
families, are not read to from birth. Children who grow up
without sufficient exposure to language arrive at school without
the basic literacy skills needed to learn and to read.
Research shows that children who enter school behind grade
level struggle though out school and often never catch up.
Reach Out and Read is designed to ensure that children enter
school at grade level.
Reach Out and Read partners with many hospitals, community
health centers, clinics and private practices throughout the state,
serving more than 23,000 children and families. We deliver more
than 39,000 new books each year to our Louisiana children. We
target low-income communities as those children are at the highest
risk for reading failure. During well-child visits for children 6
months through 5 years of age, medical providers give new, age- and
developmentally-appropriate books to children to take home and
keep, and educate their parents about the importance of reading
aloud. We build on the unique relationship between parents and
medical providers, supporting parents as their children's first and
most important teachers.
For a complete list of program sites in the state of Louisiana,
Reach Out and Read delivers results! Our program is a
proven intervention, supported by 15 independent, published
research studies. 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, preparing
them to start school on target.
The first Reach Out and Read in Louisiana program started in
1995 in Charity Hospital, New Orleans. Since that time , both
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Tulane
University Health Sciences Center Pediatric staff, residents,
and interns have been prescribing books and promoting literacy
guidance to patients and families. Reach Out and Read Louisiana is
a program of the Medical Center of Louisiana Foundation.
Reach Out and Read Louisiana was officially established in 2000,
with the goal to expand throughout Louisiana, and provide the
necessary training and resources to put books into the hands and
homes of every child.