Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is an early childhood literacy program based in Jacobi’s pediatric outpatient clinic. It is modeled after a national program by the same name, and is designed to promote school readiness and early literacy skills among children who are at increased risk for reading failure. ROR at Jacobi was started in 1999 and has grown tremendously. We now provide our patients with over 40,000 books per year.



The program enhances the literacy development of young children by reaching them at an early age and providing parents with the information, support, and materials they need to make books a treasured part of their children’s lives. Reach Out and Read integrates early literacy development into pediatric primary care by building on the power of the parent/doctor relationship as well as the consistent nature of pediatric health supervision.


In the exam rooms pediatricians counsel parents about the significance of reading with young children, offering age-appropriate tips and encouragement. At every routine check-up between the ages of 6 months and 6 years, patients receive a brand new, developmentally and culturally appropriate book from their doctor to take home and love.

Research shows that when pediatricians promote literacy according to the Reach Out and Read model, there is a significant effect on parental behavior, beliefs, and attitudes towards reading aloud, as well as improvements in the language scores of young children receiving the intervention.

Through Reach Out and Read, every child starts school with a home library of at least ten beautiful books and parents learn that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to promote a lifelong love of books and ensure that their children start school ready to learn.

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