Reach Out and Read Louisiana

Promoting literacy and school readiness across the country.

Our Mission

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, search here.

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.  


Our History

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.

  Local Louisiana Impact
36 Reach Out and Read Programs
19,814 Children Served Annually
33,462 Books Distributed Annually
U.S. Totals
4.7 million
children served annually

Reach Out and Read's thousands of doctors and nurses promote early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.

Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
89 South St, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02111