Reach Out and Read :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Reach Out and Read® Program

Nationwide Children’s believes it takes more than medicine to have a healthy child.

  • 90% of brain development occurs between birth and age 3, including social, emotional and cognitive skills crucial to healthy development

  • The development of these skills impact school readiness and overall academic success. Studies show children who start behind, stay behind.

  • Link between school success and literacy: Children who are not reading at grade level by the 3rd grade and living in poverty are 13 times more likely to drop out of high school.Reach Out and Read Logo

  • Community impact: a high imprisonment rate (80% of inmates in Ohio prisons are high school dropouts)

  • Economic impact: over the next decade, high school dropouts are projected to cost the nation 3 trillion dollars

OUR MISSION: Reach Out and Read prepares central Ohio’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital is proud to be among the largest of more than 5,000 Reach Out and Read® Programs in the country. This pediatric literacy program encourages family literacy activities in the home prior to a child entering the school system. Focus is given to families living in poverty.


Upcoming Events

Project Bedtime Story

Visit the nearest Barnes & Noble or Half Price Books location during November and December to purchase and donate a book to Reach Out and Read at Nationwide Children’s. This holiday season, Don’t Let a Child Go to Sleep Without a Bedtime Story.  Reach Out and Read at Nationwide Children’s provides new books for young kids at check-ups. This year, 50,000 new books are needed to ensure every child gets a bedtime story.

In the News

  • The AAP releases new policy – reading is doctor recommended! Check out the video here.

Department Highlights

The Reach Out and Read Model

  • During well-child visits, pediatricians give every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep.
  • 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.
  • Volunteers engage children and their families in literacy and music related activities while in the waiting area. Waiting areas are transformed into positive learning environments.

Reach Out and Read Resources

  1. Reach Out and Read Research Summary (PDF)
  2. Music to Literacy Connection (PDF)
  3. Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy (PDF)
    English | Spanish
  4. Reach Out and Read Fast Facts (PDF)
  5. Reach Out and Read Champions of Literacy (PDF)
  6. Child Trends Special Report: School Readiness (Video)
  7. Reach Out and Read Annual Report (PDF)

Program Statistics

2013 Fast Facts for Children Under 5 Years Old

  • Total Primary Care Network Visits = 92,054
  • Total Well-Child Visits = 54,282
  • New Books Provided by Pediatricians = 36,322
  • Gently-Used Books Distributed in Centers =84,768
  • Total Volunteers = 293
    • Literacy and Music =  105
    • Event/ Outreach = 188
  • Total Volunteer Hours = 2,589
    • Literacy and Music =  2,099
    • Community = 490

Cumulative Books provided since 1998: 1,325,000 books

Corporate Information

700 Children's

 Learn more about the benefits of reading to children from the very day they're born.

Read Our Blog Post »

featured video

Learn more about what makes Reach Out and Read so important
2013 Public Service Announcement for Reach Out and Read

Donate New and Gently Used Children's Books

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000