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Early Literacy: Reach Out and Read

Helping children get ready to learn to read!

Reach Out and Read in Contra Costa County

The Contra Costa County Library and the Health Services Department partners with the national Reach Out and Read (ROR) organization to encourage early literacy. Together the departments follow the ROR model to advise parents that reading aloud and sharing books is the most important thing they can do to help their children love books and start school ready to learn. Photo of Mother and Baby Reading Together

Doctors and Nurses in Contra Costa teach parents at every well-child check-up from birth to age five years to explore books and language by giving families and children age-appropriate books to take home.

Children aged 6 months to 5 years are given a free book in the hopes that each child will have a collection of 10-12 books from these visits by the age of five. Giveaway books are available in both English and Spanish. Formats for the very young such as board books, wordless books, and pictorial books are also included.

There are currently 6 Contra Costa County clinics that participate in the Reach Out and Read program.

  • Concord
  • Pittsburg
  • Antioch
  • Richmond Pediatric Clinics
  • Richmond Family Practice

For more information, contact California Reach Out and Read:

Reach Out and Read National Center

  • ROR serves 2.8 million children annually.
  • ROR distributes over 4.6 million books each year.
  • To date, over 46,571 pediatricians, nurses, residents and health professionals have been trained in the ROR model of early-literacy promotion.
  • Reach Out and Read is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  • There are over 3,289 ROR programs based on the ROR model at clinics, hospitals, and health centers in all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

Reach Out and Read

*Reach Out and Read is a national, non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care.

“Reach Out and Read started as a simple solution to an obvious problem: waiting rooms without books. Reading aloud was important for young children, and pediatricians had a special opportunity to reach their parents. It was a patently good idea. But if it had been nothing more than that, it would have withered away. Instead, ROR has grown, nurtured by the passionate and inspired efforts of many-educators, doctors, volunteers, parents, corporations, foundations and politicians.”

The Reach Out and Read Model:
  • In the exam room, doctors and nurses trained in the developmental strategies of early literacy encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips.
  • The pediatric primary care provider gives every child between the ages of 6 months and five years a new, developmentally appropriate children’s book to take home and keep.
  • In the waiting room, displays, information, and gently used books create a literacy rich environment.
  • Where possible, volunteer readers entertain the children, modeling for the parents the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud.