Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. Doctors and nurses give new books to children at each well child visit from 6 months of age to 5 years, and accompany these books with developmentally appropriate advice to parents about reading aloud with their child.
The program has been in place at the Rural Health Clinics of Mercy Medical Center since 1997, and has touched the lives of hundreds of local children and their families. Each year, over 1,500 children receive books from the Reach Out and Read program at the clinics. Donations to the Mercy Medical Center Foundation’s Reach Out and Read fund will insure that this important program can continue at Mercy’s Rural Health Clinics.