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Reach Out and Read

Children with letters READ

The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida is proud to partner with the Florida Department of Health to promote literacy by distributing books through registered Reach Out and Read sites throughout Florida. Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups:
  • Trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud, starting in infancy.
  • At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age, the child receives a new book to take home.
  • Many Reach Out and Read program sites create literacy-rich environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use and/or volunteer readers to model for parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children.

As a result of this intervention at the doctor's office, parents become more engaged and read to their children more often at home. Research shows that children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early language skills help children succeed when they enter school.

The program serves nearly 4.5 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities. 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 prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond.

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