Reach Out and Read

Fairview Clinics is dedicated to your child’s overall health and well-being. We participate in Reach Out and Read, a national program that helps prepare children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to ‘prescribe’ books and encourage families to read together.

During well-child checkups, Fairview doctors give children a free book to take home and share. The book is used during the visit to survey developmental milestones and to teach parents about the importance of reading out loud to kids. For example, a doctor may hand an 18-month old child a book upside down. . At that age, the child should notice it is upside down and try to correct it. The provider might ask a 2-year-old if he or she can identify colors or shapes. If the child is a little older, they’re asked to find the first letter of their name on the cover or an inside page.

Proven impact

The impact of Reach Out and Read is impressive! Studies find parents of Reach Out and Read participants are four times more likely to read aloud to their children. Kids served by the program enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. And, these early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success as they enter preschool and beyond.

Tips to help children develop reading skills

6 to 12 months old

Up to a year old, you can look for your child to reach for books, look at pictures and turn pages with adult help. To help your child's development, you can:

  • Hold your child comfortably
  • Point to and name pictures
  • Sing and talk to your child
12 to 18 months

Around this age, your child may turn books right side up, point at pictures with one finger and hold books with help. You can:

  • Ask where things are and let the child point
  • Let the child control the book
  • Respond to your child's prompting to read
18 to 24 months

Approaching two years old, your child may carry books around the house, name familiar pictures and fill in words in familiar stories. At this stage, you may:

  • Use books in routines, like bedtime
  • Ask what things are and let your child explain
  • Pause and let the child complete sentences
24 to 36 months

At two to three years old, your child may learn to handle paper pages, recite whole phrases or stories or protest when you get a word wrong in a familiar story. At this stage, you can:

  • Keep using books in routines
  • Be willing to read the same story repeatedly
  • Provide crayons and paper
Three years and up

At this age and older, look for your child to turn pages one at a time, listen to longer stories and move a finger along with the text. You can let the child tell the story, and encourage writing and drawing.