Reach Out And Read

“Two out of every ten low-income Maryland children are not ready for kindergarten”. 
As a pediatrician, you have the power to change this one book and one child at a time.

As of today, 88 practices have taken up this challenge by enrolling in the Reach Out and Read (ROR) program through the MDAAP. Reach Out and Read is a national non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care. ROR trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children. The program also gives books to children at pediatric check-ups from six months to five years of age, with special focus on children growing up in poverty. By building on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, ROR helps families and communities encourage early literacy skills so children enter school prepared for success in reading and life.

Thanks to all of these practices,an additional 101,715 children in Maryland are getting an opportunity to be more fully ready to enter Kindergarten.

To see how much providers are enjoying having Reach Out and Read in their practice, please click here.

“We are so glad to have Reach Out and Read in our office. I have been giving out the books as well as Rx for reading during the well visits. Kids love getting the books especially during this holiday season.”
~ Edisa Padder, M.D., Padder Health Services

“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.”
~ Marilyn Jager Adams


The Race to the Top Grant is ending December 31, 2015. After this date, each practice will be responsible for raising funds to purchase the books necessary to sustain the Reach Out and Read program. Practices will also be responsilbe for placing their own book orders. There are two publishers that we have worked with – Scholastic and All About Books. Please remember the following when ordering the books:

  • If you are tax free, complete the purchase form and submit to the publisher
  • If you are a private practice, you can submit the book money to the MDAAP Foundation and the Foundation will place your order. There is a minimum requirement of $250.




The 2015 factsheets for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia provide information for early childhood professionals and policymakers about the status of infants, toddlers, and families in their state. The State Baby Facts present infant and toddler data in the framework of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences.


To assist you in raising funds to sustain the Reach Out and Read program, we have composed several fundraising documents that can be edited to suit the needs of your practice.


How much additional time will using Reach Out and Read add to a well-visit?

No additional time, because the Reach Out and Read counseling is worked into the anticipatory guidance for the visit itself.

How do I track the number of books the practice gives out?

There are a number of ways to tract books. It can be as simple as placing a check mark on a sheet for the month to having index cards with the book title and age group in each book and removing it when the book is given out. For additional ways of tracking books, please visit the Resources Page and look for Tracking Books.

Can I only give new books out to low-income patients?

No. Once the practice is trained and ready to begin the program, books can be given out to all children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years who are there for a well visit.

Why can’t I give new books out at sick visits or to siblings?

The Reach Out and Read National Program is set up for well visits and the grant received by the Chapter requires us to follow these National guidelines. We recommend keeping gently used books on hand to give out to siblings and/or during sick visits.  Please visit the Resource Page and look for Obtaining Gently Used Books for more information on ways to obtain these books from the community.

What do I do if a parent wants information on adult literacy?

Please go to the Resources Page and click on Adult Literacy Resources to find adult literacy resources in every county currently covered by the grant.

How will I receive the books?

All books will be sent directly to your practice, even those ordered through the Foundation.

How do I sustain the program when the grant is over?

To help you sustain the program beyond the grant period, we have created a page containing documents to help you raise funds for your Reach Out and Read program. Click here to go to the page.


You must keep a record of the number of books given out in order to complete your progress reports. To do this, establish a simple system with clinic staff to record each time a child receives a book. Some ways to do this include:

  • Every time a staff member places a book with a chart, make a hatch mark on a tracking sheet. For a monthly tracking sheet, click here. For a monthly tracking sheet broken down by age group, please click here.
  • Add a box to check, labeled BOOK GIVEN, to the existing encounter form in the patient record.
  • Add a special Book Page to the medical record where providers can record all the books they give a child.
  • Store stickers, labels or index cards (English, Spanish, Bilingual) with the name of the book inside the book.
  • Encourage providers to record the specific books or just write “book given” in their notes or EMR (electronic medical record).


Progress Reports are bi-annual required reports that allow the National Center and Coalitions to learn more about your Reach Out and Read program. The information collected in these reports is essential for us to understarnd how programs are doing. These reports are mandatory for the program.

Here are some resources to assist you in discussing the importance of early literacy with parents as well as how to use the books during the well-child visit.

Book drives benefiting Reach Out and Read Colorado can be a great project for service clubs, schools, places of worship, youth groups, scout troops, companies, bar/bat-mitzvah projects, etc. Here are some resources to help you obtain used books:

Many practices find it beneficial to create a literacy rich waiting room as part of the program. It can be as simple as having a bookcase with used books for children to utilize or as interactive as having volunteers in your a waiting room to read aloud to the children. Here are some resources on how to create the literacy rich waiting room.

A great place to obtain literacy resources and potential volunteers is with your local libraries. Click here for some best practices on partnering with them.