Reach out and Read
Imagine what kind of difference it might make in our area, in our state, in our country, and even the world, if the playing field were leveled and, from birth, all children had access to literacy tools, books, and nurturing adults who understood the importance of reading together every day.
Reach Out and Read Georgia (ROR GA) is on a mission to serve every child in the state of Georgia with literacy tools, books and parental education on the developmental impact of reading aloud.
ROR GA is honored to be a strategic partner of the Junior League of Atlanta. Generous support of partners like JLA makes it possible for us to bring our model to more in need communities in metro Atlanta and across the state.
Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Our unique differentiator is leveraging existing medical infrastructure, to encourage supportive, educational conversations with parents on the importance of reading aloud and the impact on children’s brain development. Doctors working with Reach Out and Read offer free books to children at well visits and explain to parents the importance of routines like reading aloud at the earliest stages of a child’s life. Doctors use the book as a developmental assessment tool and as a way to engage parents.
Doctors associated with ROR GA also receive materials and training in how to talk with parents about the importance of reading with their child for optimal brain development, social and educational development.
The results of our intervention are well documented:
Parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children. During the preschool years, 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 foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.
In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics has 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.
At our 94 program sites throughout the state, ROR GA serves more than 91,000 children and distributes 146,472 books annually. We enthusiastically participate in literacy-minded initiatives on the local level, particularly in Greater Atlanta, including the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club.
Amy Erickson is the Executive Director for Reach Out and Read Georgia.