Pediatric Visits Promote Early Childhood Literacy and Enhance Language Development in 1,400 Practices

Between 1997 and 2002, staff at Boston University Medical Center, Boston, expanded the Reach Out and Read program in Somerville, Mass., which trains pediatric providers in counseling parents about reading to their children and provides practitioners with books to give them at well-child visits.

The goal of Reach Out and Read is to make early literacy part of standard pediatric practice.

Key Results

  • Staff at Reach Out and Read increased the number of participating sites in hospitals, health centers and pediatric practices from 56 at the outset of the project to more than 1,400 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

  • Reach Out and Read served 1.5 million children annually and distributed 3 million books per year.

  • More than 14,000 pediatric providers, nurses and other clinicians had been trained in the Reach Out and Read strategies of early literacy.

  • The Reach Out and Read National Center established 17 state and regional coalitions.