About Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read Indiana is dedicated to giving our state’s youngest children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

The program begins in infancy and continues through age 5 years, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities.  Pediatric providers throughout Indiana prescribe new books to their youngest patients and encourage families to read together.  Ages birth to 5 are the most critical for brain and language development, and parents and caregivers play a crucial role in their child’s development.  Children who are read to at an early age develop a lifetime love of books and learning.

The program is led by Program Manager, Madison Criswell, and Program Coordinator, Jillian Phillips, with the support of the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and volunteer Medical Director, Dr. Jill Berg. 

Our Vision

What happens in the first few years builds the foundation of a child’s life. These precious moments become cherished memories—but their impact on a child’s future is far more critical. Research shows that building strong foundational relationships —as we do when we read together—can overcome some of the negative effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)

All children, but especially those disproportionately exposed to a high number of ACE’s, can benefit significantly from having access to books and the meaningful moments that are created by shared reading with children.

Our Next Chapter

Building on our strong foundation of more than three decades, Reach Out and Read is intentionally focusing on equitably strengthening and deepening our impact on the children, families, and communities we serve. As we recover from COVID-19, there is an even greater sense of urgency to scale and expand our impact to support that recovery for the children and families most impacted.

Working together, we will harness our expertise, build on our literacy foundations, and engage our shared networks as a catalyst for change, using the parent-child relationship as a foundational component of early success.

Preventing Childhood Toxic Stress

Research shows that reading with children and fostering positive relationships can help shield against toxic stress caused by adverse childhood experiences.

The Clinician Experience

"Clinicians who implement ROR report positive impact on patients, families, and their own satisfaction and methods in practice" (Erickson et al., 2021).