Learning Through Innovation

At Reach Out and Read Carolinas, we are building a future where the standard of pediatric care for young children includes the ROR intervention, implemented for all children birth to 5 years of age. 

We Imagine: 

A future in which parents and caregivers understand the crucial role they play in laying the foundation for their child’s healthy development.  This foundation starts with the development of healthy relationships together. 

A future where all parents and caregivers are well supported and all children grow up with diverse and inclusive books and, with reading, talking and singing in the arms of those who love them and care for them.  Reach Out and Read helps to make these everyday moments matter. 

Our innovations are grounded in our mission, visions and values. 

Here’s How We’re Innovating

Books and Diversity Project 

Children’s books – even books for the youngest babies – can combat racism and its effects on children by serving as windows into our diverse world and as mirrors that provide an affirmation of who they are. 

Books should serve as “mirrors, windows, and glass doors” for all children. Children have to see both themselves and the worlds beyond their own in the stories they read.  

That the simple act of snuggling with a caregiver and sharing stories that reflect cultural diversity can yield better health outcomes for our children is a compelling story that we all need to be telling.  

Over the course of the next year, we will be working with providers, parents, and stakeholders in Durham County, NC; Charlotte, NC; and Washington, DC to build out our Books and Diversity Project. Over the next year, we will: 

  • Form the Books and Diversity Committee with providers, partners, parents, community members, and publishing partners to identify gaps and opportunities regarding current books, conversations with publishing partners and listening sessions in each community. 
  • Develop a training on the online learning platform for providers with new, diverse books, around how to maximize conversations with and support families.  
  • Welcome new authors and stories into the Reach Out and Read book library, bringing new voices and images into the lives of the families we serve. 
  • You can help to support this work HERE. 
  • This project will formalize the role of the parent voice in helping to lead our work with the establishment of a Parent Advisory Committee. 

 Check out the resource page with diversity, equity inclusion and anti-racism resources for providers and families.

Beginning at Birth
We are starting Reach Out and Read at birth! Selected communities throughout our geography are piloting this expansion with support from our team.

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-up, emphasizes the importance of supporting parents and families from the beginning.

We are aligning with research and science to support our partnership with providers.

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.

Check out our online learning opportunities (CME’s available)!

Our Next Chapter

As we look forward to our next 30 years, Reach Out and Read aspires to harness our three decades of experience, our proven model, and our extensive network into an even more powerful force for change, recognizing the parent-child relationship as a foundational component of early success.

This is our Next Chapter.

Locally, in the Carolinas, we have aligned our strategic vision with this national movement.

• Enactment of policies that drive change in attitude, practice and funding.
• Wide-scale adoption and funding of feasible and impactful best practices.
• Physicians equipped with skills to effectively support strong caregiver-child relationships.

Working as part of a movement that aims to make the promotion of positive, language-rich interactions the standard of care, our Next Chapter strategy involves four central priorities:
• Create momentum for change within primary pediatric care.
• Equip clinicians with skills that effectively promote early relational health, particularly through early literacy strategies.
• Craft and implement a policy agenda to advance strategies delivered in the pediatric primary care setting that promote early brain development, early literacy and school readiness.
• Implement a research agenda to optimize the integration of pediatric well-child visits and the promotion of early relational health through early literacy.



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