Reach Out and Read Iowa
Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national program that makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary health care, so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. It trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric check-ups from six months to five years of age, with a 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.
The ROR model consists of three elements, including:
- In the exam room, doctors and nurses trained in early literacy encourage parents to read aloud to their children, and offer age-appropriate tips.
- The pediatric primary care provider gives every child between 6 months and five years of age a new developmentally-appropriate children’s book.
- Displays, information, and gently-used books create a literacy-rich environment in the waiting room. Where possible, volunteers read aloud.
Children who participate in ROR enter school with their own personal library of beautiful books, a treasure, when the families of many children growing up in poverty lack the money to buy books or may not have easy access to good children’s books.
ROR-Iowa represents a growing coalition of over 600 providers. ROR programs across the state serving 61,000 children each year. Nationally, there are 5,00 sites in which 4 million children participate annually.
The purpose of the ROR-Iowa coalition is to serve more children by raising awareness; expanding to new sites; training; advocating; and providing funds for books. This collective effort builds additional support for all ROR sites in Iowa.
To become a ROR site, contact:
Molly Olinger Topf
ROR-Iowa Coalition Leader