More than 1/2 of NYC’s public school 3rd graders read below grade level.

The problem is even bigger in communities of concentrated poverty, where
one age-appropriate book exists for every 300 children. Caregivers in these communities lack resources to read to their kids on a regular basis.

Without a regular reading ritual, young children will enter kindergarten at a tremendous disadvantage and spend elementary school catching up.

Children who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade are
4x more likely to drop out of school.

Reach Out and Read is a research-driven intervention that provides children with books during pediatric checkups so that families can read to their children at home.

We partner with health care providers to put books in the hands of children, from birth to 5 years old, and literacy resources in the hands of caregivers.

We make reading aloud a routine part of well-child visits so that families make reading a routine at home.

How we work…


We’re changing New York.

6 million books for 1 million families

275,000 children served annually

3-6 mo. advantage in early vocabulary

233 program sites in Greater New York

Our Impact

See what people are saying…

Studies of Reach Out and Read show that participating parents read more and children’s preschool vocabularies improve when parents read more.”

“It has doctors, actually has doctors distribute books, almost like prescribing reading for children.”

“A large body of research has shown that children who are exposed to books at a young age go on to do better on a wide variety of measures…”

“Dr. Mogilner and thousands of doctors throughout the city take literacy promotion one step further.”