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Become a Reach Out and Read site.

Our program is designed to be integrated quickly and simply into your practice; we’re always excited to add new pediatric professionals to our network. We look forward to getting to know you and your site! Below are answers to some basic questions about Reach Out and Read; if you are already familiar with the model, please feel free to start your application at any time.

For a quick look at participating in Reach Out and Read, click here

  • What is the Reach Out and Read model?

    The Reach Out and Read model of literacy promotion and family engagement consists of three key elements:

    • Primary care providers (Doctors, NPs and PAs) are trained to deliver anticipatory literacy guidance to parents and caregivers of children from infancy through 5 years of age during each well-child visit. This age-appropriate guidance centers on the importance of elements such as: frequent and early exposure to language, looking at board books and naming pictures with infants, rhyme and repetition for gaining phonemic awareness during toddlerhood, and reading interactively (such as asking open-ended questions) when reading with preschoolers. Clinicians also use this opportunity to model reading aloud and introduce it as another way to support positive interactions between caregiver and child.
    • Additionally, the clinician introduces a new, developmentally-appropriate book into the visit for the child to take home, building a child’s collection of 8-10 new books before kindergarten. Books are given at least from the 6-month visit, but also earlier visits, if possible.
    • Reach Out and Read sites also create literacy-rich environments that may include gently-used books for waiting room use or for siblings to take home. In some waiting rooms, Reach Out and Read volunteers model for parents the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud with very young children.
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  • Who can participate in Reach Out and Read?
    • In June 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared literacy promotion to be an “essential component of pediatric care” for all children, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and caregivers and prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond. Click here to read the AAP’s policy statement.
    • The Reach Out and Read model is designed to be implemented by medical professionals who provide primary care to children, from infancy through 5 years, as part of the well-child checkup. Both pediatric practices and family practices that deliver pediatric care may participate in Reach Out and Read. If you are not a pediatric or family practice, but deliver pediatric care, please contact your regional or state Reach Out and Read affiliate or the Reach Out and Read National Center to see if you are eligible to become a Reach Out and Read site.
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  • How will our clinic, clinicians, and patients benefit from our becoming a Reach Out and Read program?
    • Reach Out and Read has become an essential part of pediatric practice across the country—from large, urban practices to small, rural clinics. By introducing a beautiful new book at the beginning of a well-child visit, clinicians find they can better engage and calm the child, provide meaningful, positive literacy promotion messages to the parent or caregiver, enable additional opportunities for positive caregiver/child interactions, and build stronger connections with the family. Using the book in the exam room creates an opportunity to talk about other relevant topics such as sleep routines, the importance of a child’s first 2,000 days, school readiness—and offers clinicians a new and valuable tool for monitoring the child’s development. Furthermore, Reach Out and Read encounters are often some of the most joyful moments of a clinician’s day.
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  • Will we need to pay for our books, and how much will they cost?

    You will need one book for each well-child visit performed for children ages 6 months through 5 years; we encourage clinicians to give books starting at the earliest visits (birth through five months), but this is currently optional. For approval, you must certify that you have the necessary funding – or enough new, developmentally-appropriate books on hand – to cover all well-child visits from 6 months through 5 years for at least the first year of Reach Out and Read implementation at your site. As you will see in the application, we use an average cost of $3.50 per book for calculation purposes. The actual cost of books will vary depending on title, language, and vendor.

    Books are available for purchase at significant discounts from Scholastic and All About Books, approved vendors who provide Reach Out and Read sites with curated catalogues of high-quality, low-cost books chosen specifically for Reach Out and Read. If you are located within a regional or state Reach Out and Read affiliate, they may be able to provide assistance in fundraising, or provide books if funding is available.

    Please note: The cost of the book is the only cost a site will incur; however, $3.50 is only representative of the average cost of the actual book. It does not reflect the costs that the Reach Out and Read affiliates and the national organization incur to assist in the delivery of the program, such as clinician training and site support, or costs associated with the book purchasing and delivery process.

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  • How can my clinic become a Reach Out and Read site?

    Start your application today at During the application process, you will need to:

    • Provide demographic information for your patient population (e.g. language, insurance coverage).
    • Decide who at your office will take leadership of Reach Out and Read as Medical Consultant and Site Coordinator.
    • Obtain a letter of support from the medical director and/or executive director of your organization.
    • Submit your site’s W9 form or other relevant tax documentation.
    • Determine how you will get the books needed for at least first year of implementation.
    • Ensure at least 75% of site clinicians who see children ages 6 months to 5 years for primary care complete our online Core Provider training (1.5 CME).
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  • When will I know my site has been approved?

    Sites will be emailed regarding their application status within a month of submission. Following application approval, site clinicians will be required to complete our online Core Provider training (1.5 CME). Once training is completed, sites may begin implementing Reach Out and Read into their daily practice. For more details, please see New Site Start-Up Process.

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Additional Information

The items above are questions that practices usually ask when applying to Reach Out and Read. If your question isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact your regional or state Reach Out and Read affiliate or the Reach Out and Read National Center at 617-455-0600 or

Please see our Site Coordinator Manual for more information about participating in Reach Out and Read’s programs.