Read Charlotte has partnered with Reach Out and Read Carolinas since 2017 to expand the availability of its effective literacy program in Mecklenburg County doctors’ offices.
Doctors and other medical providers participating in this evidence-based program “prescribe” language and books to parents during well-child visits of children birth through five years old. Providers encourage parents to read aloud to their children, offer age-appropriate tips, and gives families books to build their home libraries. Doctors’ offices that are using the program include all families with children in that age range, so that no action is required on the families’ part.
The reach of the program more than doubled in three years. In 2016, it served 29% of children under five in low-income households in Mecklenburg County. By 2020, with support from Atrium Health and Novant Health, that number was increased to 70%.