Reach Out and Read Los Angeles

Apr 29, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Do you like to read?  Do your kids like to read?  Some kids love to read, but others often struggle.  That’s where Reach Out and Read comes in.  I discovered this wonderful program via facebook, and Emily Laird, who blogs over at Reach Out and Read LA.  I approached her about writing a guest post for Travelin’ Local in order to share the wonderful work she and all the other people are doing over there. 

So, without further ado, here’s Emily: 

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all."

— Jacqueline Kennedy

In an age where most children spend far more time on the computer playing video games, or watching television than they do reading, it’s more crucial than ever to encourage a healthy love of books for our children. I recently began working with the Los Angeles branch of Reach Out and Read, and I’d love to share with you a little about this wonderful organization.

In case you haven’t heard of us before, Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting literacy and school readiness in children by encouraging parents to read to their young children every day. The Los Angeles chapter of Reach Out and Read works with 89 local health clinics and hospitals by training doctors and nurses to advise parents about how important it is to read aloud to their children daily.

Each time a child comes in for a checkup, they receive a new book donated by Reach Out and Read. You can think of it as a prescription for reading.

I first became involved with Reach Out and Read when I was in high school, where I organized a book drive for the western Massachusetts branch. A few years later, after moving to Los Angeles, I was in between jobs and contacted Debbie Navarro, the regional coordinator for the L.A. chapter. For the last few months, I’ve have been working with Debbie on starting Facebook and Twitter pages and a blog to further its mission.

The message of Reach Out and Read is important to me because I sincerely believe in the importance of reading for a a child’s proper development and education. Currently, less than half (48%) of children are read to daily, and the majority of learning to read and write begins with a child learning to love books, especially in their formative years, when they’re young. I feel blessed to have had two parents who read to me every night when I was growing up, and encouraged me to keep reading, from elementary school and Dr. Seuss, to high school and Harry Potter.

Because my love of reading continued as I got older, my goal is to spread the message of how important it is to read to children regularly, and my hope is to accomplish this through my involvement with Reach Out and Read Los Angeles.

Connect with Reach Out and Read Los Angeles:

via Facebook

via their Blog


Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

In this day and age of hyper world competition and the need for a well rounded liberal arts education, reading comes in handy, even if your main enjoyment is for your own benefit and nobody else.

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2 Responses to “Reach Out and Read Los Angeles”

  1. Jan says:

    Yes, I’m a reader! When I retired, I went to work for Barnes and Noble, just to be around the books. Of course, I like being around people, too.


    Debbie Navarro Reply:

    @Jan, Reach Out and Read Los Angeles is grateful to our local Barnes & Noble; they held a 4-day bookfair for us last week. When our coupon code was used, a 10% rebate was calculated to support our efforts to promote literacy in children.

    Thanks, Jan – for being a reader and for working at Barnes & Noble after retirement. Your community is a better place since you are helping others choose books – I hope some of your customers are Reach Out and Read patients – young children under the age of five who are interested in books because their parents have been reading aloud to them. Reading is doctor recommended!

    Debbie, ROR Los Angeles Regional Coordinator


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