Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

The Good Habit of Reading (El Buen Habito de la Lectura): Parental Reactions to an Enhanced Reach Out and Read Program in a Clinic for the Underserved

Byington, C.L., Hobson, W.L., Olson, L., Torres-Nielsen, G., Winter, K., Ortiz, K.A., Buchi, K.F. (2008) The Good Habit of Reading (El Buen Habito de la Lectura): Parental Reactions to an Enhanced Reach Out and Read Program in a Clinic for the Underserved. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 19(2), 363-368.,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description


core topic(s)

Reach Out and Read (ROR)

Population Characteristics

Lingually Diverse , Poverty/Low-Income , Race, Ethnicity, and Culture , Urban

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Libraries and Public Resources , Parent Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs


This report describes parental reactions to a Reach Out and Read (ROR) program enhanced with a children’s library in an urban clinic serving low-income immigrant families.


Reach Out and Read (ROR).

outcomes evaluated

Parental reactions to ROR.


Urban primary care clinic serving low-income immigrant families in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 80% of the children served at the clinic are from families whose origin is Mexico and who primarily speak Spanish.


We recognized an opportunity to study parental reactions to a ROR program in Utah when parents began to write spontaneous notes thanking our staff for the program. These notes convey, in the parents’ own words, what they value about the ROR intervention. Qualitative methodology is suited to describing how social experiences are given meaning, particularly for individuals who are marginalized or oppressed, so we used qualitative methods to study 133 notes submitted between 2003–2004. The major question we asked was: What is of value to families participating in a ROR intervention in an urban pediatric clinic serving low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrants?

sample size

n=133 (notes)


Qualitative thematic analysis.


Theme 1-3: Gratitude, Benefits to children and the family, and Positive perceptions of the clinic staff.


Literacy promotion may improve physician-family relationships in cross-cultural settings. Parents perceived the physicians and staff of the clinic as particularly interested in and dedicated to the welfare of their children because of the ROR program. Parents stated the ROR program demonstrated respect for the family. These are important qualities in establishing a trusting relationship between physician and family, and suggest an area for research as physicians are asked to develop skills in cultural competence and to partner with families in a medical home setting...The notes provided by our families indicate that the enhanced ROR program offered in our clinic was valuable and culturally acceptable.


Not discussed.