Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that 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 model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.
Pediatric healthcare providers (including pediatricians, family physicians, and pediatric nurse practitioners) are trained in the three-part Reach Out and Read model to promote early literacy and school readiness:
In the exam room, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement.
The pediatric primary care provider gives every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep.
In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich environment. Where possible, volunteer readers entertain the children, modeling for parents the pleasures - and techniques - of reading aloud.
Who We Are
Dr. Carolyn Boone, a Reach Out and Reach Virginia pediatrician, brings the program alive every day in her thriving North Richmond practice. She gives anticipatory guidance to her patients and their parents about the importance of books, the joy of reading and how reading aloud twenty minutes a day will help set their child on a successful path to their future.
Byrd Family Foundation
Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation
Harry and Zoe Poole Foundation
Early Education and Community Partners
Sue Rockwell has been the leader behind Reach Out and Read Virginia for nine years, an intervention providing family support around at pediatric well child visits encouraging early brain development, health and wellness. Since 2004, the Virginia region is part of a national organization that partners with pediatricians to promote the importance of reading aloud to parents of young children. Sue brings over twenty-five years of experience working in non-profit work environments. She began her career working in higher education which includes Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School. She also has an MS in Communications from Boston University. Her favorite children's book is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
Donna Faett has been a Program Specialist with Reach Out and Read Virginia for the past 9 years. Donna has a Master's in Educational Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked with children and families in a variety of settings including mental health assessment, crisis intervention, and outpatient therapy. Donna has truly enjoyed working with Virginia pediatricians and promoting literacy. Donna and her husband, Fred, have three grown children and her favorite children's books are anything written by Eloise Wilkin.
Dr. Addie Briggs, M.D.
East End Pediatrics
Melody Ailsworth, D.O.
Richeson Drive Pediatrics
Site Coordinator - Reach Out and Read
Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters
Author and Reading Specialist
Creative Minds Publications