Less than half of U.S. children living in poverty begin kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. About 75 percent of them will never catch up and will be more likely to drop out of school than their peers. Experts say that the best way to help children learn these skills is to read with them and that birth through age five is a critical time for this.
Reach Out and Read incorporates early literacy into U.S. pediatric medical practices to reach children in need. At each well-child visit, clinicians talk to parents about reading with their children and provide a brand-new developmentally and culturally appropriate book. The preschool language development of children in the program is three to six months ahead of their peers’, giving them a better chance of succeeding in school. Depending on the region where you live, $15 to $20 provides the books and the program for one family for a year.