Organize a Book Drive

Reach Out and Read

Everyone knows how expensive high-quality children’s books can be. That’s why community book drives are an important source of support for thousands of Reach Out and Read Programs nationwide.

Note: Reach Out and Read only distributes new children’s books in the exam room during regular pediatric checkups, but used books are often used in the waiting room, given away to children who come for a sick visit, or given to siblings who don’t have an appointment that day, but would like a book to take home as well.

If you’re interested in organizing a book drive for a Reach Out and Read Program in your region, here are some guidelines to help in your planning. These guidelines were developed out of respect for families and in keeping with the philosophy of Reach Out and Read – every child deserves quality, appropriate books.

  • Find a Reach Out and Read Program in need of books through our interactive map or by contacting the Illinois Program Manager at
  • Contact the Reach Out and Read Program directly to determine what its greatest needs are (new board books for babies, used books for the waiting room, etc.) and whether the clinic has additional guidelines for donated books.
  • Donated books should be developmentally-appropriate and culturally-appropriate.  Books about sensitive issues like divorce, abuse, or death cannot be accepted, nor can books which include any reference to religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.
  • For a list of suggested children’s books, refer to the Annotated Book List for Children.
  • Used books must be “gently-used” (covers and pages intact, clean, and readable).
  • Hardcover picture books with brightly-colored pictures and interesting stories are ideal.
  • Reach Out and Read’s focus is on children between the ages of 6 months through 5 years, although books for older children may be accepted, depending on the needs of individual Programs.
  • Because Reach Out and Read Programs are run by clinic volunteers, it’s best if you can drop the books directly at the clinic.

Thank you for your support of early literacy and Reach Out and Read Illinois!


Reach Out and Read Illinois
1400 West Hubbard, Suite 100
Chicago, Illinois 60642
Phone | 312-733-1026 ext 204
Fax | 312-733-1791
Email |

Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics