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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 Coordinator, Madison Criswell, with the support of the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and volunteer Medical Director, Dr. Jill Berg. 

Support Reach Out & Read IN 

Your donation to Reach Out and Read Indiana will help us support our early literacy champions, and expand the program across the state. Your generous contribution will go to purchase new children’s books, educational resources for parents, and other resources to support and enhance early literacy programming in Indiana.

Your $12 donation will support the cost of providing books to one child per year. 

Your $120 donation will support 10 children or 1 child from 6 months through 5 years with a new set of age-appropriate books of their own. 

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There are multiple ways to support Reach Out and Read Indiana. Host a local book drive in your community, school, church, or place of employment by collecting new and gently-used books that will go directly to one of the many Reach Out and Read pediatric clinics, volunteer at a clinic by helping organize books, or join us for our annual fundraiser. 


For questions, speak to Madison, our Reach Out and Read Manager at

The Evidence
 Reach Out and Read is built on and backed by science.

NEW in 2020!

Study Finds that Reach Out and Read Enhances Clinic Morale, Increases Provider Satisfaction, and Improves Patient-Clinician Relationships


Heather Burton, MD and Dipesh Navsaria, MD,


Wisconsin Medical Journal

A new study  evaluated the effect of Reach Out and Read on clinic values and attitudes and found that implementation of Reach Out and Read enhanced clinic morale, increased provider satisfaction, and improved patient-clinician relationships.

Read the complete study.

NEW in 2020!

Encouraging Parent–Child Book Sharing: Potential Additive Benefits of Literacy Promotion in Health Care and the Community,

Canfield et al.,


Early Childhood Research Quarterly

Parents who received both a book and guidance through Reach Out and Read about the importance of reading were more likely to engage in literacy activities with their children through book sharing at home.


Read the complete study.

Attendance at Well-Child Visits After Reach Out and Read

Needlman et al.,


Clinical Pediatrics

Caretakers who are introduced to Reach Out and Read demonstrate a significant increase in compliance with Well-Child Visits (WCV), with the largest differences found among Latino families and children of less-educated families.


Read the complete study.

We serve
146 thousand children
across the state 

  • We have provided more than 85,500 new age-appropriate books to children  

  • Assist 149 clinics in implementation of Reach Out and Read Indiana 

  • Trained 620 physicians 

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Last week, I saw 2 sisters (9mo and 2yo) with their mother.  At previous visits the 2yo, who has a speech delay, had been hesitant to interact with me, and her Mom had often seemed harried and stressed.  Last week, when I entered the room and handed her a ROR book, she immediately opened it and sat down to look at the pictures.  I commented on the fact that she knew just what to do with the book, and that her family has clearly been reading to her.  Her Mom smiled and said “She has so many books, I need to get her a bookshelf!”  Throughout the visit, it became clear that this little girl is making excellent progress in her speech - she was much more interactive than at previous visits, initiated speech with her Mom and with me, and even sat on my lap to look at and talk about her new book while her sister was getting her vaccines.  It was clear that her Mom was not only proud of her daughter’s love of books and improved vocabulary, but was also much happier and more relaxed herself.  It was a wonderful visit!"

- Reach Out and Read Pediatrician, Marion County 

Participate in Reach Out and Read Indiana 

Reach Out and Read is on the air! 

Click Here to learn more about the Reach Out and Read podcast. You can find engaging conversations with experts in childhood health and literacy.

Pediatric Provider Resources 

Here are some helpful resources for you to be able to talk to parents about the importance of reading aloud to their child. Talking points for medical providers to caregivers, and also a tip sheet to give the parent hints on what they should be seeing with their child and how to help them.

Parent’s Guide
Talking with Parents About Books

Diverse and Inclusive Booklist 
Monkey Family Reading Tips (English)
Monkey Family Reading Tips (Spanish)
Developmental Disabilities Literacy Promotion Guide

To see the complete list of reading tips, click here

Click here to view and download additional resources 


  • National Reach Out and Read COVID-19 related supports and resources continue to be updated, see the latest

  • You can find free e-books on the link above. 

  • Click here for tips for parents on How Books Help Children Cope with Stress

  • Click here for tips for parents on How Books Help Children Cope with Stress in Spanish 

  • Here you can find guidance from National Reach Out and Read regarding infection control measures for gently used and new book

  • In the video below you can watch a great example on how to incorporate Reach Out and Read into a telehealth visit. 

Click here for more ROR Training Videos on Youtube

Developmental Milestones  


Reach Out and Read’s well-known chart, MILESTONES OF EARLY LITERACY DEVELOPMENT, offers information – in an easy-to-read grid – on the developmental stages (both motor and cognitive) that lay the foundation for learning to read. Targeted to ages 6 months through 5 years, the MILESTONES include tips and guidance for healthcare providers, parents, and caregivers on choosing books and reading aloud to children at different ages.


Download the English/Spanish two-sided chart here.


Newborn Talking Points (English)
Newborn Talking Points (Spanish)

Special Thanks to our Ongoing Reach Out and Read Partners