Fund for the Improvement of Education-Programs of National Significance
Reach Out and Read, Inc. (ROR)
Funding: 1-year grant of $3,995,412 (Of this amount, $995,412 was under an interagency agreement with Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
Reach Out and Read, Inc. (ROR) is a national pediatric early literacy program that integrates books and literacy guidance into the medical primary care of children from six months to five years. ROR has built an outreach campaign that targets medical centers serving at-risk children. By training pediatricians in strategies for promoting early literacy, ROR takes advantage of both the strong relationships between the parents of young children and their pediatricians and the frequent health supervision visits in the first five years of life. By providing developmentally and culturally appropriate children's books, given by the doctors at the 10 routine health supervision visits for young children from six months to five years, ROR ensures that parents will have the tools they need to follow the doctor's advice. The overall objective is to improve the home literacy environment, put books into homes, increase the frequency of parents reading aloud to children, and improve language development. The ROR literacy promotion is implemented at approximately 2,950 healthcare facilities that serve an estimated 2,500,000 at-risk children annually.
This grant is supporting five primary objectives:
- sustain the existing programs throughout the continental U.S. and outlying areas and conduct provider re-training for current ROR providers;
- respond to external requests for the ROR program by pediatric providers to serve up to an additional 300,000 children and conduct new provider training as expansion occurs;
- establish a national Spanish-speaking initiative to determine best practices for ROR providers to use when discussing literacy with Spanish-speaking parents;
- support existing regional/state ROR coalitions in their literacy efforts; and
- reduce book costs via bulk-purchasing arrangements with partnering publishers.