Reach Out and Read's impact is magnified and enhanced by the work of of volunteers. Reach Out and Read's dedicated volunteers can help support programs in their communities by donating books (both new and gently-used), improving literacy-rich waiting rooms, and reading aloud to children at select program sites.

How you can help

Volunteer to read.
Volunteer readers provide a positive reading experience for children in waiting rooms, as well as model reading aloud for parents. This is a rewarding opportunity for small groups and individuals who would like to become involved on a weekly basis. Not all clinics can accommodate volunteer readers, so please keep in mind that the need for volunteers varies at each Reach Out and Read program site.

Honda Lock of America (HL-A, Inc.) employees read to patients  in the waiting room at Pediatric Adolescent Medicine in Selma.

Organize a book drive.
Books are at the core of our program. While Reach Out and Read program sites strive to give out brand-new, doctor-recommended books in the exam room at all visits, not all sites have the funding needed to ensure that each child gets a book. Volunteers can help sites fundraise, enabling them to leverage the exceptional discounts provided by our literacy partners and not available elsewhere.

If you or your organization are interested in organizing a gently-used book drive for a Reach Out and Read program site, here are some guidelines to help in your planning.

Create a literacy-rich waiting room.
Volunteers can help to improve the waiting room of a Reach Out and Read program site in their communities. Consider donating:

  • Gently-used books
  • New bookcases or child-sized furniture (benches, tables, chairs) to help create a reading corner
  • A story time rug
  • Children's or parenting magazines
  • Bulletin boards or other displays  

Art students or artists can create murals, artwork, or photographs with literary themes or characters (within the parameters of the individual Reach Out and Read program site).

View how you can create a literacy-rich waiting room here.