This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Reach Out and Read program, which gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. How many children's books has the program given out since it began?

A. 400,000
B. 50,000
C. 1 million
D. 575,000

Answer: 1 million

Imagine a child growing up in a home without books. You might conjure an image of a child in a remote village, but many households here in Philadelphia and across the United States don’t have a single children’s book. For 20 years, the Reach Out and Read program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been committed to rewriting that story.

Mom reading to childCHOP’s Reach Out and Read program takes place at 10 of CHOP’s primary care practices in the Philadelphia region and New Jersey. Pediatricians and nurse practitioners at these practices encourage parents to read aloud to their children and give children ages 6 months to 5 years a brand-new, age-appropriate book at each well visit. Those first years are the most important for brain development, and reading is a key component to stimulating language.

Thanks to the passionate efforts of doctors, nurse practitioners, volunteers, parents and donors, to date, the program has provided an incredible 1 million books to children. Families served by the program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential. The program has also created educational videos with tips for reading with children.

Watch this video to hear inspiring stories about what makes Reach Out and Read so effective and efficient, how it encourages children's language development and helps them start and stay successful in school, and the important role philanthropy plays in the program's livelihood long into the future.

How you can help

  • Volunteer to read: Learn about our volunteer reader opportunities
  • Donate books: Donate new and gently-used children's books
  • Support the program: Make a donation or hold a fundraiser — CHOP's Reach Out and Read program depends 100 percent on donations