Learning Through Innovation

Reach Out and Read plays a critical role in the lives of young children and their families. It supports bonding, early brain development, and a love of learning. Research consistently shows literacy is the critical skill and early childhood is the critical stage for equipping children for a lifetime of success.

The core work of Reach Out and Read is supported and strengthened by our constant focus on innovation. This year, we are catalyzing conversations about how together we can think differently to deepen impact for families.

Here’s How We’re Innovating

Beginning at Birth
We are starting Reach Out Read at birth.* We are reaching families earlier to help build healthy brain development, relationships and routines.

Beginning Reach Out and Read at birth, instead of the 6-month check-ups, emphasizes the importance of supporting parents and families from the beginning.

We are aligning with research and science to support our partnership with providers. Dr. Anna Miller-Fitzwater, an AAP Young Investigator Award recipient, and her colleagues at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are researching the implementation of ROR at the visits between birth and 6 months of age. Her research, along with others working on this across the country, will continue to guide and inform our formal roll out in the Carolinas.

*We are currently piloting in select communities.

Medical Engagement and Training

Reach Out and Read Carolinas is the only program with unparalleled access to families through the medical home and the voice of the trusted provider.

Therefore, the way we train, support and engage our medical providers is critical. They have a special vantage point and understand how social determinants of health (poverty, literacy, housing, food insecurity, access to parenting supports) affect health.

By changing the way primary care providers are trained, we will ensure the healthy development of children is a priority, while building healthy, secure families and strong communities.

Social Systems Leadership Internship

We partnered with Converse College to build an innovative internship – the first of its kind in the nation for Reach Out and Read!  

Through the lens of Reach Out and Read, this internship opportunity offered a deep dive into the aspects of system building in a community to better support children and families. By focusing on the areas of research and evaluation, funding, systems thinking and data collection, this internship provided the opportunity to learn how the social systems environment works and what it takes for a program to make an impact. We’re excited to replicate this internship in other communities throughout the Carolinas.


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