Initiatives

Helping Hands

Targeted programs that serve populations in need.

We know that every child can benefit from reading becoming a part of their lives. However, we also know that making reading a priority is easier for some families than for others, and that certain children are more likely than others to need additional help. To that end, we have launched a number of special initiatives that bring our program to those communities that most stand to benefit from Reach Out and Read.

Developmental Disabilities

As part of our special initiatives program, we created a guide for families and medical providers of children with disabilities to help them make reading an enjoyable part of their routine.

American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Initiative

Established in 2007 in coordination with the American Academy of Pediatrics and Indian Health Service (IHS), the AI/AN Initiative focuses on providing Reach Out and Read to IHS/Tribal/Urban health clinics nationwide. As a group, AI/AN children have the lowest test scores, high school graduation rates, and college entry/graduation rates of any minority group in the United States, making early education and early literacy programs like Reach Out and Read critical.

Leyendo Juntos (Reading Together)

Approximately 78 percent of Reach Out and Read programs nationwide serve families whose primary language is Spanish. Because these medical providers develop a trusted relationship with the families they serve early in a child’s life, they are well-suited to emphasize the importance of language and reading to the Latino families they serve.

Leyendo Juntos was created to develop linguistically-appropriate training and materials for Reach Out and Read providers who serve Spanish-speaking families. Reach Out and Read has developed an online medical provider training and materials for Spanish-speaking providers, volunteers, and parents.

Reach Out and Read Counts

In 2018, Reach Out and Read introduced an innovative early math initiative to address the math gap that appears in early childhood and predicts math achievement as far as 8th grade. Integrated into the proven Reach Out and Read model, pediatric clinicians provide parents with simple suggestions for engaging with their child through sharing books and using ‘math talk’ and puts primary emphasis on having fun together.

Military Initiative

Because of the unique pressures on military families (including frequent relocations, separation during deployment, and the risk of injury to or loss of a parent), Reach Out and Read launched an initiative in 2006 to expand support to military families worldwide.

Reach Out and Read programs serve active-duty families on bases worldwide, as well as National Guard and Reserve families through our thousands of civilian programs in the United States.

“I had no idea that reading together could bring benefits to an infant—when we started, it quickly became our favorite part of the day.”

– Reach Out and Read Parent, Rhode Island