Why We Work

Research Findings

A proven early literacy intervention.

What distinguishes Reach Out and Read from other interventions is its large and growing evidence base. Since 1991, the Reach Out and Read model has been studied by academic investigators in a variety of settings, providing an extensive body of peer-reviewed research on the effects of the program. The body of published research supporting the efficacy of the Reach Out and Read model is more extensive than for any other psychosocial intervention in general pediatrics. Additional studies that address language outcomes in children are in progress.

Key Findings
  • Parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children.
  • Reach Out and Read reaches the child through effectively teaching the parent to start lifelong learning in the home.
  • During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.

In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared literacy promotion to be an "essential component of pediatric care" for all children, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond.  Read the AAP's literacy promotion statement
Read the complete Reach Out and Read Research Summary

Our Most Recent Research

Hutton et al., Pediatrics
Reading aloud to young children promotes development of a part of the brain associated with learning to read.  Imaging of brain activity in 3- to 5-year-old children as they listened to age-appropriate stories showed differences in brain activation according to how much the children had been read to at home. Read the complete study