Reach Out and Read Announces Public Policy Agenda to Strengthen Public Health, Reduce Systemic Inequities


A new public policy agenda from Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit that fosters parent/caregiver relationships through shared reading, focuses on strengthening health care for and early literacy in young children. The 35-year-old nonprofit, which reached 4.4 million children in FY23, says robust cross-sector investments are needed to connect the worlds of primary health care, early literacy, and public health. The policy agenda advocates for young children and their families and recommends that policymakers and partners create and/or improve systems crucial to public health and early literacy, including widespread support of Reach Out and Read’s transformative model.

“For 35 years, Reach Out and Read has been a beacon of family support through pediatric well-child health care, nurturing caregiver-child bonds and early literacy through the life-changing impact of children’s books and shared reading,” said Dr. Trude Haecker, Chair of Reach Out and Read’s Board of Directors and Medical Director of Global Patient Services at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We are excited to use this expertise to champion policies that support the development, education, and health of young children and the reduction of structural inequities.”

Though the current political and social environment can make it hard to find common ground, the Reach Out and Read model offers an opportunity to embrace the shared goal of ensuring all children a strong start in life. The nonprofit challenges policymakers, clinicians, and early childhood champions of all kinds to use the new public policy agenda to focus investment, advocacy, program development, and resources.

To learn more about Reach Out and Read and to download the full agenda, go to

Read the full story here.