Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is tier-one public health intervention integrated into primary care in the medical home.  ROR is a two-generational intervention that sits at the intersection of health and education, designed to foster intentional skill-building in parents, resilience in families, and positive bonding between children and families. We know that shared stories and reading can help develop strong parent-child bonds that last a lifetime, buffering toxic stress and building positive childhood experiences. Literacy is a critical skill and early childhood is the critical stage for equipping children for a lifetime of success.  Reach Out and Read supports, trains, and engages at scale primary care clinicians to help families build critical everyday moments into their routines, starting at birth.


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Fast Facts

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State or Local? State
CountiesAll Counties
Lead Agency Reach Out and Read Carolinas
Type of Lead Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • ROR is undergoing organizational training around diversity, equity, and inclusion to give our staff a shared understanding of how these issues impact the workplace and think through how we can improve our internal policies and practices. This includes revising our hiring practices and advisory board guidelines. 
  • ROR Carolinas is piloting a project focusing on the diversity of books provided through ROR, and the role of these books can play for children, families, and the communities we serve. Over the course of the next two years in targeted communities in North Carolinas, Virginia, and DC, we will conduct a deep analysis of our current book offerings; identify authors and books not currently reflected in our catalogs; conduct parent listening sessions; and develop a training for ROR providers with new, diverse books, around how to maximize conversations with families.
Community Voice
  • The pilot will develop tools for the integration of family voice in the design and leadership process. This will include the development of the structures for integrating family voice, allowing family voice to lead analysis of book selection and gaps, and providing end-used feedback on support from providers.
  • The Books and Diversity Committee has been intentionally designed with a diverse committee, including leadership from community members and providers who are people of color.
  • Since 2019, participating ROR providers have prescribed books and shared guidance on reading together with more than 272,000 children and families across NC.
  • Families who participate in ROR are more likely to read together with their children daily and to incorporate strategies suggested by their medical provider.
  • As of December 2020, nearly 349 medical homes in 86 NC counties participate in ROR.
Next Steps
  • Extending the ROR model back to birth–sites across NC will begin implementing ROR from the newborn visit, increasing the number of touchpoints with families and prescriptions for reading to the existing ROR intervention by up to 40%.
  • Expanding the ROR footprint–ROR will continue to bring on new participating locations to ensure that families in all 100 counties have access to the ROR intervention.
  • Enhancing training and professional development opportunities for ROR medical providers–ROR will continue growing its library of trainings and courses in our online learning community to help participating providers understand how ROR can be utilized to address and layer on a multitude of topics including social determinants of health, resiliency and toxic stress, and social-emotional health.
Primary Partners
  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • NC Partnership for Children
  • NC Pediatric Society
Primary Funders
  • The Duke Endowment
  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • Child Trust Foundation
  • Anonymous Trust
  • Local Partnerships for Children
Contact Amber Pierce

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