Getting Started


Start a Program In Your Own Community

Click here to download the process for starting a new Reach Out and Read program site.

To become an official Reach Out and Read program, there are a few simple steps to complete: collect routine data, submit an application, and determine how your books will be supplied. Once approved, your providers must complete the online training course on program delivery. There are two important program roles to fill: Medical Consultant and Program Coordinator.

Medical Consultant: the pediatric primary care MD, DO, NP, or PA who is most enthusiastic about Reach Out and Read and wants to champion the cause due to a deep appreciation for the critical first 2,000 days of a child’s life. While neither a demanding nor time-consuming role, he or she will provide oversight of the clinical components of the program to:

  • Ensure that Reach Out and Read best practices are implemented throughout the pediatric or family practice department;
  • Foster discussion of and create support for efficient systems (book delivery to the exam room)
  • Assure compliance with requisite online training by provider staff;
  • Share relevant information with medical providers on early literacy and language development and Provider Bulletins that Reach Out and Read makes available from time to time; and
  • Act as the medical “face” of the program; connect with the executive leadership of the health center, clinic, or practice.

Program Coordinator*: any interested staff member familiar with the clinic, staff, and patient population.  This role supports the Medical Consultant and is responsible for administrative aspects:

  • Ordering the books;
  • Tracking the number of books distributed;
  • Completing the semi-annual Progress Reports; and
  • Ensuring a literacy-rich environment and coordinating volunteer readers (if any).

Both roles are typically voluntary and take very little time each month.
*A medical provider may fulfill both roles, particularly in small practices. 

Application Timeline:

  1. Start an online application. After you provide basic contact information, your program site will be issued a Site ID and password and redirected to, where the application is finished and submitted. During this time your site’s status is “Application in Process.” (You may repeatedly log in and work on the application over time.)
  2. Along with the application you must also submit a letter of support, signed by the department head, clinic medical director, or executive director, stating your practice’s commitment to the Reach Out and Read program. (Details on how to submit the letter and application are provided in the application.)  Once this is received, your site’s status is “Application Complete”.
  3. Applications completed by the second Monday of each month are reviewed by the Reach Out and Read Application Review Committee during that week.  You can expect to receive an email the following week. Approved applications become “Approved Needs Training.” If your program site does not yet have the funding for a year’s worth of books (100% of your Annual Book Commitment), your application will be placed on the waiting list.
  4. Once the medical providers at your practice have completed the online training, and staff members have been oriented (more information below), your site becomes “Active” and you may start implementing Reach Out and Read at your practice.

Once Your Application Has Been Approved

  1. Medical providers must receive official Reach Out and Read training before implementing the Reach Out and Read program. (information below)
  2. Each Reach Out and Read program site receives a Reach Out and Read/Scholastic pre-paid account into which you can deposit funds for purchasing Scholastic books. After completing training, you will receive your Scholastic Account Number, the Reach Out and Read catalog, and additional information about how to take advantage of this helpful resource.


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