Reach Out & Read 2016 Results

smartstartror-logosOver 40,000 Books Given to Children Through Smart Start and Reach Out & Read

Recent Report Says Parents Participating in the Program Are More Likely to be Reading with Young Children

[Raleigh, NC] – A recent report shows that a statewide partnership between Reach Out & Read and Smart Start means that parents of young children participating in the program are 97 percent more likely to be using one or more recommended reading strategies with their children.

dad-kid-1200x400“This is so critical to the development of our children and our state’s future workforce,” stated Cindy Watkins, President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) which oversees the Smart Start network. “Early moments of reading and engaging in books with children creates the foundation for literacy skills, social development, and a love of learning that ensures children are ready to start kindergarten.”

Reach Out & Read is a national program that supports doctors in their efforts to “prescribe” reading to young children and families during well-child visits through early literacy guidance. In 2011, NCPC and Reach Out and Read (ROR) began working together to help our state’s youngest children develop an early love of reading. During the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year, 40,791 books were given out through the program, as well as pediatrician’s guidance on how parents can actively engage in daily reading habits with their children.

“Our partnership with Smart Start means that over 43,000 children in 45 counties through 79 medical clinics have been served through our collaborative work,” stated Callee Boulware, Executive Director of Reach Out & Read Carolinas. “Not only are we getting books into the hands of young children, be we are also helping their parents foster literacy from the earliest days of their child’s life.”

Early literacy skills are critical for the development of healthy minds and bodies. Literacy is a process that happens over time and early childhood matters most. When babies make sounds row-of-kidsand point at objects, when toddlers learn to hold a book the right way, and when preschoolers pick out letters and words, they are developing the skills needed later for reading and writing. By starting early with literacy programs that assist parents, we ensure our state’s youngest citizens start school ready to learn and prepared to excel.

Other key findings include:

  • 63 percent of parents  returning to the doctor that are participating in ROR let their child turn the pages verses only 44 percent of families new to the program.
  • 61 percent of parents  returning to the doctor that are participating in ROR help their child identify shapes, colors, and letters verses only 43 percent of families new to the program.
  • 47 percent of parents  returning to the doctor that are participating in ROR read to their child at least 30 minutes every day verses only 34 percent of families new to the program.


Smart Start is a network of 75 nonprofit local partnerships that serve all 100 North Carolina counties. This network is led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC) that ensures fiscal and programmatic accountability, and coordinates the statewide network to create better outcomes for children and families.

Reach Out & Read Carolinas is an evidence-based intervention for children birth to 5 that makes early literacy a standard part of primary care with a special emphasis on children who grow up in low-income communities. The Reach Out & Read model is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the program has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention. Reach Out and Read Carolinas serves over 305,000 children at over 400 clinical locations.


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