Reach Out and Read :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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700 Children's

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

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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

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.


In the News

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

Department HighlightsThe 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

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