What is Reach Out and Read?

Reach Out and Read is a national pediatric early literacy program that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Doctors and nurses are trained to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give new books to children at pediatric well child visits (check-ups) from 6 months through 5 years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty and medically underserved areas. By building on the unique relationship between parents and the health care team, Reach Out and Read helps families and communities encourage early literacy skills so children enter school prepared for success in reading.

What’s the Reach Out and Read Model?

  • Educate parents. In the exam room at each of our pediatric clinics, the pediatrician or nurse practitioner encourages parents to read aloud to their young children and offers age-appropriate tips.
  • Gift children with free books. At well-child visits (check-ups), the pediatrician or nurse practitioner gives every child 6 months through 5 years of age a new, developmentally and culturally-appropriate children’s book to take home and keep.
  • Volunteers make reading fun! In the waiting room, displays and gently-used books create a literacy-rich environment. Volunteer readers engage the children with books, modeling for the parents the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud.

The Reach Out and Read Program at TCC Family Health occurs at the following clinic sites: S. Mark Taper Foundation, Vasek Polak, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, and Hamilton Middle School.

The Importance of Books and Reading Aloud

The 1985 National Commission of Reading reported that the single most important predictor of a child’s later reading success is the ability to read to early in life. Reading aloud to infants and young children enhances language and cognitive development to help them learn.

How To Help

Reach Out and Read at TCC Family Health relies solely on donations and support from schools, community groups, foundations and individuals to maintain this valuable program. Here’s how you can help support Reach Out and Reach at TCC Family Health:


Our Reach Out and Read Program is in desperate need of new books for the Pediatric Literacy portion of our program, and you can help! Give the gift of reading this holiday season and generate a tax deduction! A $100 tax deductible donation will allow us to purchase 50 new books, a $50 donation, 25 age appropriate books for children ages 6 months to five years. Contact Penelope Leon for more information, or click here make your gift online. Indicate “ROR” in the comment box and we will personalize each book with your name as a Reach Out and Read Book Buddy.


Have a fundraiser to collect money so the Reach Out and Read coordinator can purchase new books for children ages 6 months through 5 years at a discount. Donors in the past have been individuals, families, community groups and school classes who all have a passion for childhood literacy.

Book Drives

This is a great way for individuals, groups and children to involve themselves in helping others! Collecting appropriate new and gently-used books for Reach Out and Read allows health care staff to place books directly in the hands of many children at our various clinics. Donations of appropriate gently-used books for children ages birth to around 10 years are accepted as well; however, books need to be in good condition (covers and pages intact, clean and readable). Please call (562) 264-4646 for donation and delivery guidelines, recommended titles, and questions.

Reach Out and Read Volunteers

Volunteers are a core component of our Reach Out and Read Program for all our young patients. Reach Out and Read volunteers show parents the techniques and pleasures of looking at books together with their children. Please call TCC’s Volunteer HQ at (562) 264-4646 to request more information.