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Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  Reach Out and Read is based on a model that trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at well-child visits from six months to five years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. Pediatric waiting rooms become literacy rich environments, oftentimes with volunteer readers, where parents and children learn about the pleasure and techniques of looking at books together.

For Families

Reach Out and Read Illinois Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheet provides parents with an overview of the Reach Out and Read Illinois initiatives, goals, and impact.

The Importance of School Attendance

This helpful guide provides parents and families insight into why school attendance is so critical for school performance and has helpful suggestions about keeping children from falling behind.

Get Ready to Read

Get Ready to Read, a service of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, is designed to support educators and families to help children develop early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten.  The site also has a helpful Home Literacy Environment Checklist for parents to see if their home is literacy-friendly.

Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy

This informative guide, written by pediatricians, serves to inform parents and doctors on appropriate book-related behaviors for ages 6 months through 5 years.

Annotated Book List for Children

The National Center for Reach Out and Read has developed a list of some of the best developmentally-appropriate books for each age group, which can be viewed at the link above.

Reading Tips for Parents

This handy guide from Reading Rockets provides parents with every day strategies and techniques to help their babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarten, and first, second, and third graders foster language skills in fun ways.  It is also available in Spanish.


For more information, please contact:

Elise Groenewegen
Coordinator, Early Childhood Development
1400 W. Hubbard, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60642
Phone: 312/733-1026, ext 204
Fax: 312/733-1791