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.
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.
For more information, contact California Reach Out and Read: http://literacyworks.org/contact/
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.”