Pass It On

Share your love for language with the next generation.

Reach Out and Read’s impact is magnified by the generosity of thousands of volunteers nationwide. You can help support programs in your community by donating books (both new and gently-used), improving literacy-rich waiting rooms, and reading aloud to children at select program sites. We also encourage our supporters to teach their elected representatives about the power of our program. Together, we can grow our reach, expand our impact, and make a difference for even more children.

Ways to Volunteer

  • Donate books or help create a literacy-rich waiting room

    Reach Out and Read makes books available in waiting rooms for families to read and take home. If you would like to donate new or gently-used books for children or teenagers, please contact your state or regional Reach Out and Read affiliate. Or, if there is no affiliate in your area, contact your local program site. Please note:

    • Gently-used books have intact covers and pages, and are clean and readable.
    • Donations of textbooks or used coloring or activity books cannot be accepted.

    Volunteers can also help to improve the waiting room of a Reach Out and Read program site in their communities by donating:

    • New bookcases or child-sized furniture (benches, tables, chairs).
    • A story time rug.
    • Children’s or parenting magazines.
    • Bulletin boards or other displays.
    • Murals, artwork, or photographs with literary themes or characters created by art students or artists (must be within the parameters of the individual Reach Out and Read program sites).
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  • Host a Virtual Book Drive – Create a Book Oasis

    At Reach Out and Read, we believe all children should grow up learning a love of reading on the laps of people who love them. That’s why our medical champions work with parents every day to demonstrate the value of reading aloud and beginning basic math concepts. They share so many books each year—6.4 Million—and that’s why we need YOU! When you donate books through Reach Out and Read’s Virtual Book Drive, you provide over 40,000 medical practitioners across the United States with the tools they need to promote reading aloud every day.

    Ready to get started?
    If you are an individual, download your toolkit here.

    If you are an organization, please reach out to christine.hughes@reachoutandread.org.

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  • Dive into Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Reading is more than fundamental. It provides the opportunity to teach our children about kindness, compassion, and empathy for others, and that diversity of stories matter. All children should see themselves as the stars of their own stories yet more than three-quarters of children’s books are about White/Caucasian people (77%), with less than a quarter about people of color (23%). Increasing access to diverse stories isn’t just an ethical responsibility – it’s a medical one. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, we must build inclusive literacy programs that reflect the diversity of children in our communities if we are to reduce the damaging impacts of racism on public health. 

    By joining our Mirrors and Windows Book Club, you can help us change the narrative so families include diversity, equity, and inclusion in their daily interactions with their children starting the day they are born. With a donation of $50 or more to our Mirrors and Windows Fund, you will be providing diverse and socially responsive books to children, incorporating these important topics into their daily lives from birth. As a member of our Mirrors and Windows Book Club, you will have access to our online Mirrors and Windows book drive where you can organize your own virtual book drive to raise funds for diverse and socially responsive books for children. You can help us change the narrative one book and one child at a time.

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  • Organize a Gently Used Book Drive or a New Book Drive

    Reach Out and Read gives new books to children during their well-child checkups, however, we also encourage our clinics to have gently-used children’s books available. Gently used children’s books are used in waiting and exam rooms, given to older siblings, provided at sick visits, or simply used help to build a child’s home library. Volunteers of all ages can host a new or gently-used book drive through their own personal networks, community groups, schools, or businesses. This is also a wonderful opportunity for older children to help younger children by organizing a book drive through their school, Girl or Boy Scouts, or any club they belong to. Book drives can last days, weeks, or even months, and can also be tied into a holiday or event.

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  • Volunteer as a Reader

    In some clinics, volunteer readers can provide a positive experience for children in waiting rooms, and can help to model good reading aloud practices for parents. You can help show parents just how much fun reading with children can be.

    Not all clinics and practices can accommodate volunteer readers. In addition, many program sites require background checks and volunteer orientations, and many have age limits for volunteers.

    Download our volunteer reader brochure for more information.

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  • Advocate for Literacy-Friendly Policies

    Reach Out and Read has broad bipartisan support in Congress. Fifteen states currently invest in our work, providing critical funding for books and infrastructure. With the active involvement of our many supporters, Reach Out and Read continues to seek public funding and private support to enable us to reach as many children and families as possible.

    You can help by spreading the word to your elected officials. Educate your legislators about the impact of Reach Out and Read on the children and families served in your community. Telephone calls, letters, meetings, and Reach Out and Read program site visits can have a tremendous impact.

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  • Encourage Reach Out and Read families to read aloud daily through personalized postcards

    Encourage Reach Out and Read families to read aloud daily through personalized postcards” with this intro: “Writing personalized notes for clinicians to include as they share books with children at well-child visits is a simple, powerful way to engage in Reach Out and Read’s mission. Cheer on our parents and encourage them to read, sing, and play everyday with their child.

    Click here to download a toolkit.

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Dr Gambhri's bedtime routine

“Reading with my children has strengthened our bond as well as, unknowingly, set a foundation for a family ritual that I hope to continue for generations to come.”
Reach Out and Read mother of two, Houston, TX.

Make a Gift

Our program is possible because of generous financial support from donors like you.

Find a Site
Use our interactive map tool to locate a nearby site that is able to accommodate volunteers.

“Reading is the path towards knowledge, freedom, and empowerment.”

– Donor, Arizona