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Reach Out and Read is a non-profit program founded in 1989 to encourage daily reading to young children. Under this initiative, pediatricians supply new parents with books during regular check-ups in an effort to get them to read aloud to their kids. Knowing the positive benefits reading can impart to small children, healthcare professionals are striving to lay the foundations of success early on through literacy. Over the last three decades, more than 34,000 medical personnel have participated in Reach Out and Read helping to distribute 7.4 million books to 4.8 million children every year.
The program was started by a group of pediatricians and educators from the Boston Medical Center and made reading aloud a doctor-recommended activity. The program empowers families to integrate storytelling in their daily routines and prioritize early childhood literacy. Evidence put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 indicates that reading from a young age improves parent-child interactions and promotes socio-emotional development. Former First Lady and librarian Laura Bush has also expressed support for the program.
Reach Out and Read. (n.d.). About. https://www.reachoutandread.org/about/