November 8th, 2012

WATCH: Reach Out And Read

Where is the one place most children go before they enter 1st grade?

a. Pre-K
b. Kindergarten
c. The doctor’s office

The answer is (c), the doctor’s office. Twenty-three years ago, a group of doctors and early childhood educators realized this and started a program called Reach Out and Read. Working with parents and medical facilities, the program has grown to distribute 6.5 million books a year to over 4 million (mostly low-income) children, nationwide.

Correspondent John Merrow brings you inside a clinic at Bellevue Hospital in New York City to see Reach Out and Read in action. This story aired on PBS NewsHour on November 8, 2012.

After this segment was filmed, Bellevue Hospital was flooded by Hurricane Sandy and almost all the program’s books were lost. Help rebuild their library by making a monetary contribution here (Donation Category: Reach out and Read) or contact Marie Betancourt at to determine other ways you can help.

View Transcript (PDF)

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


CCListen: Lisa Guernsey of New America Foundation

The Common Core, a new set of academic standards being adopted nationwide, states that children should be able to “read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding” by the end of kindergarten. Guess what? Only 10 states and the District of Columbia mandate that schools provide full day kindergarten. 34 states only require schools to offer half day programs, and six states do not require their schools to provide any kindergarten at all. To find out how many children are actually enrolled in pre-K and kindergarten programs, producer Cat McGrath spoke with Lisa Guernsey from the New America Foundation. The foundation recently released the report Counting Kids and Tracking Funds in Pre-K and Kindergarten. Join the discussion!

More of our videos | Our YouTube Channel | Our Podcasts | iTunes |

Donate | Join our e-mail list | Debate the issues | Facebook | Twitter | Google+

   Print    Email    comments (1)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...


1 comment

Reach Out and Read is a program that needs to be in place at every major hospital in the country! And private practice family docs and pediatricians should be required to take a hands-on course that will help them follow this program. Of course…it is commonsense…babies and very young children go to the doctor’s office for shots and to be seen for well-baby/child visits…this is the perfect place for observation and engaging with them about their exposure to books and reading. Since parents usually bring their children, the parents can be involved in this conversation as well. I applaud Reach Out and Read…and will do all I can to advance their program. I’ve already connected with the director of the Bellevue Hospital Reach Out and Read Clinic and I’m sending copies of my book to for use by families and staff. Thousands of books were lost in the flooding and I will be mounting a campaign on my blog to replace as many of them as we can.
Vivian Kirkfield, BA, MS
Educator and Author
Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking

Comment Policy
Names are displayed with all comments, but email addresses remain private. Keep it brief, civil and on topic. Please note that Learning Matters reserves the right to edit comments for brevity and delete inappropriate or malicious comments. Please read the comment guidelines for more information.


Facebook Twitter Google Plus Youtube
Join Our Mailing List