Reach Out and Read, Inc.

where great stories begin

Boston, MA   |  www.reachoutandread.org

Mission

Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Our objective is to improve emergent literacy and social-emotional health during the span of rapid brain development between birth and age five, particularly in economically disadvantaged families who are at risk for adverse outcomes. We do this by partnering with pediatric medical providers who encourage parents to read aloud regularly with their children, and provide the knowledge and tools families need to nurture early learning, providing the best start for their children. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

Notes from the nonprofit

"The Reach Out and Read Program has had a significant impact on how many families view spending quality time with their children. Many parents didn't realize the difference between reading/looking at books with their child versus allowing the child to "learn" while watching TV, or playing with electronic devices. It's been very heartening to see how both the parent and child react to the book we give during well child visits. We have many families who don't have books so looking at a book together during a visit is often a very new and unique experience. Parents seem thrilled when their child shows interest in the book." Pediatric Outpatient Care / UM St. Joseph's Medical Group, MD

Ruling year info

1999

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Brian Gallagher

Main address

89 South Street, Suite 201

Boston, MA 02111 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3481253

NTEE code info

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Literacy is the foundation for all learning and is the "single most significant factor" affecting a child's success in school (National Commission on Reading). Yet, alarmingly, 1 in 3 kindergarteners nationally enter school without the basic language skills required for reading – putting them at a tremendous disadvantage on day one. Arriving at school unprepared to read, which is the case for most children in low-income families, children are unlikely to ever catch up as academic demands accelerate. Today, 45 million adults in the US are functionally illiterate, reading below a 5th grade level and 1 in 4 children grow up without learning how to read. Illiteracy is far more than the inability to read a good book. It is linked to almost every major global development challenge there is, from infant mortality and malnutrition to gender inequality and unemployment (Project Literacy). Reach Out and Read (ROR) strives to provide all children with the opportunity to learn to read.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is based around a simple model of prescribing shared reading to foster language-rich interactions between parents and children starting in infancy. Integrated as a standard component of pediatric primary care in the culture of participating clinics, Reach Out and Read's three-part model impacts all families who are seen for well-child checkups at a participating clinic.

The Conversation: In the pediatric exam room during well-child visits for children newborn through five years, pediatricians speak to parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement.The pediatrician models read aloud strategies while coaching parents on how to share books and why it is important. Parents are engaged in the conversation as the provider offers anticipatory guidance and emphasizes how reading prepares children for school and brings families together.

The Book: Each child is given a new, culturally and developmentally-appropriate book to take home, building a collection of 10-15 new books in the home before the child goes to kindergarten.

The Clinic and Beyond: Many Reach Out and Read program sites create literacy-rich environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use and/or volunteer readers to model for parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children. Following their medical provider’s advice, parents read aloud with their children more often and engage them in literacy activities like visiting the library and museums, far extending the program's impact outside of the exam room.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

The Leyendo Juntos (Reading Together) Initiative assists primary care providers in effectively encouraging Spanish-speaking parents and extended family members to read with their children. Leyendo Juntos follows the model of pediatric guidance, prescribing books, and encouraging parents to read aloud at home, emphasizing respect for patients' cultures and primary language. The initiative builds upon best practices that medical providers at various levels of linguistic proficiency (e.g. native Spanish speakers, near-fluent speakers, and those who speak medically-appropriate Spanish) use to emphasize the importance of early literacy to Spanish-speaking families. Parents understand the critical impact reading together has on their child's development and future school success. Special tools, such as a Spanish Language Literacy Promotion Guide, Spanish-language books and materials, and Reach Out and Read's Spanish-language website, help medical providers better serve Latino/Hispanic families.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

The Reach Out and Read American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Initiative was established in 2007 as a partnership between the Committee on Native American Child Health (CONATCH) of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and Reach Out and Read. Through this initiative, we deliver our proven three-part early literacy program to AI/AN children at Indian Health Service/Tribal/Urban clinics nationwide. We offer culturally-appropriate books as well as books in Native American languages.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

In 2006, we launched our Military Families Initiative to deliver our program to children living on U.S. military bases. Military families face unique pressures, including separation, deployment, or even the death of a parent. Reading aloud to children is a proven technique to help them cope with the stress and anxiety that these difficult situations cause. When families read aloud together regularly, children enjoy the stability of a routine while gaining the foundational skills needed to learn to read. Furthermore, we offer a number of books which deal with military themes, including titles like While You Are Away, Kissing Hand, and Home Again.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Military personnel

A generous gift from the Heising-Simons Foundation
of $914,000 in 2018 has funded an innovative enhancement to Reach Out and Read’s award-winning
model: Books Count - Reach Out and Read’s Early Math Initiative. Heising-Simons Foundation’s investment supports a five-state rollout of Books Count over the next two years. In that time, Reach Out and Read will reach 10,000 children, providing them and their families with the tools and guidance to foster crucial foundational math skills before the age of 5; the organization will then be well positioned to bring Books Count to the rest of its
national network, benefiting over 5 million children by 2020. Books Count does not change the core of the Reach Out and Read model, it aims to expand the opportunities for parent-child interaction at the heart of our model by providing new concepts and ways to learn.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 out of every 6 children in the United States has a developmental disability. This statistic is increasing; in the past four years, there has been a 30% rise in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) alone. The rate of developmental disability diagnosis among economically disadvantaged children is higher than the rate for their more affluent peers. The CDC reports that, between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of developmental disabilities among children insured by Medicaid was nearly double the prevalence for children with private insurance.

Reach Out and Read has always served children with developmental disabilities. However, we are always working to further develop our early literacy model to better meet the learning needs of children facing specific physical and mental challenges. The Developmental Disabilities Initiative was developed for primary care providers who treat infants and children with developmental challenges and provide support, advice, and helpful resources to their families. The Reach Out and Read Developmental Disabilities Initiative currently includes eight types of disabilities/disorders:
• Speech and Language Delay
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Motor Delay
• Developmental Delay (including Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities)
• Hearing Loss
• Vision Loss
• Short Attention Span, High Activity Level, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
• Learning Style Differences (including dyslexia)

The materials are designed to be used as a point of reference for healthcare providers and families already participating in the Reach Out and Read model of early literacy promotion and parent engagement.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with disabilities

Where we work

Awards

Recommended in Policy Statement 2014

American Academy of Pediatrics

Social Capitalist Award 2008

Fast Company/The Monitor Group

Valued Partner 2009

GuideStar Exchange

Seal of Excellence 2008

Independent Charities of America

David M. Rubenstein Prize 2013

Library of Congress

Award of Honor 2013

American Hospital Association

Official Alliance 2014

American Academy of Family Physicians

Ascend Network Learning Partner 2014

Aspen Institute

Global Literacy Campaign Partner 2014

Ralph Lauren

Angel Award 2014

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Confucius Prize for Literacy 2007

UNESCO

Number of books distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Reach Out and Read

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

At each well-child visit from six months through five years of age, the child receives a new book to take home and build their home library. We track books distributed to ensure program efficacy.

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Reach Out and Read

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

No other early literacy organization has both the scale to reach millions of children nationwide and the solid evidence base to support program effectiveness.

Number of program sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Reach Out and Read

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We partner with over 32,000 pediatric medical providers through 6,200 medical locations (program sites) nationally. Medical providers voluntarily deliver our intervention because it is so impactful.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

“There is a strong argument that tackling illiteracy and low literacy, as a “foundational” social problem, would pay greater defends than tackling each issue separately.” (Dr. Dan Wagner, UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, University of Pennsylvania) With near universal access to children and families, ROR is uniquely positioned to do exactly that, prevent illiteracy and low literacy in children on a national scale.

ROR gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Our objective is to improve emergent literacy and social-emotional health during the span of rapid brain growth and development between birth and age five, particularly in economically disadvantaged families who are at risk for adverse outcomes. We partner with pediatric medical providers who encourage parents to read aloud regularly with their children, providing the knowledge and tools families need to nurture early learning.

ROR’s intervention is based around a simple model of prescribing shared reading to foster language-rich interactions between parents and children. Beginning at birth, our trusted medical providers coach parents during infant, toddler and preschool well-child visits about the critical role that reading aloud and telling stories should play in their daily routine with their children. At each well-child visit from six months through five years of age, the child also receives a new book to take home and build their home library.

Our model of integrating literacy into routine pediatric care is designed to meet families where they are; while less than one-third of children in the US are enrolled in a childcare setting, more than 90% receive a well-child check-up every year. With our unique access to pediatric providers, we can reach nearly all children, and their parents, during the most critical time, the first three years of their lives, when 80% of all brain development occurs.

ROR has been the subject of 15 research studies ( http://reachoutandread.org/our-impact/reach-out-and-read-the-evidence/ ) demonstrating that children served by ROR are read to more often, have better expressive and receptive language skills, and are better prepared for success in school.

In a landmark 2014 policy statement calling on pediatric providers to promote early literacy development from infancy to at least kindergarten entry, the American Academy of Pediatrics cited studies of ROR to conclude that “research has revealed that parents listen and children learn as a result of literacy promotion by pediatricians, which provides a practical and evidence-based opportunity to support early brain development in primary care practice."

By making literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric care, we are leveraging the child development expertise of doctors to prepare at-risk children for academic success. No other early literacy organization has both the scale to reach millions of children nationally and the evidence base to support program effectiveness.

Since our inception in 1989 in Boston, MA, ROR has expanded from 1 clinic, 2 pediatricians, and 500 children and families to partnering with 32,700 pediatric providers at 6,000 healthcare locations nationally. Annually, we impact 4.7 million children and distribute over 7 million new books.

We have shown that reading aloud with infants and toddlers connects to the most significant parts of a child’s development. Shared reading provides children with a fertile learning environment—encouraging curiosity and imagination while promoting resiliency and mitigating toxic stress. Our work started with early literacy, but naturally extended to social-emotional development and so much more.

As we look to the future, we hope to make our intervention more powerful and individualized for the families we serve, especially through our special initiatives; Understanding Developmental Disabilities, Reach Out and Read Counts, Leyendo Juntos (Reading Together) and our Military Initiative.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Reach Out and Read, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Reach Out and Read, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 4/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Curt Gray

Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Administration, BAE Systems

Term: 2020 - 2022

Perri Klass, MD, MD, FAAP

National Medical Director, Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics, New York University

Lisa Lebovitz, MBA

Board Member, City Year Boston, Advisory Board Member, Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University

Robert Needlman, MD, FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Pediatrician, MetroHealth Medical Center

Curtis Gray, MBA

Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Adminstration, BAE Systems, Inc.

Jeremy Hastings, MBA

Senior Vice President, Network Strategy, Beacon Health Strategies

Benita Somerfield, MA

Chair of the International Committee of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards

Dipesh Navsaria, MD, MPH, MSLIS, FAAP

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical Director, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin

Susan Hildreth, MLA, MBA

Professor of Practice, University of Washington

Thomas DeWitt, MD, FAAP

Carl Weihl Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Division of General and Community Pediatrics Professor and Associate Chair for Education and Primary Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Claudia Aristy, BA

Director, Reach Out and Read and the H.E.L.P. Project, Children of Bellevue

Kyu Rhee

IBM

Robie Harris

Children's Book Author

Evan Keyser, MBA

Director, Global Healthcare Group, Citi Corporate and Investment Banking

Jessie Lyons

Vice President of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Scholastic Inc.

Terri McFadden, MD, FAAP

Medical Director, Reach Out and Read Georgia, General Pediatrician & Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Medical Director of Primary Care, Hughes Spalding Campus, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Leora Mogilner, MD

Associate Program Director, Pediatric Residency Program, Director, Advocacy and Community Pediatrics rotation, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Todd Nicolet

Vice Dean, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/15/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/15/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.