about Us

Our Mission

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Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.


Pediatric healthcare providers (including pediatricians, family physicians, and pediatric nurse practitioners) are trained in the three-part Reach Out and Read model to promote early literacy and school readiness:


In the exam room, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement.


The pediatric primary care provider gives every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep.


In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich environment. Where possible, volunteer readers entertain the children, modeling for parents the pleasures - and techniques - of reading aloud.

Who We Are

  Reach Out and Read Virginia's Dr. Boone  Prescribing Hope  for her patients on  The Today Show .

Reach Out and Read Virginia's Dr. Boone Prescribing Hope for her patients on The Today Show.

Dr. Carolyn Boone, a Reach Out and Reach Virginia pediatrician, brings the program alive every day in her thriving North Richmond practice. She gives anticipatory guidance to her patients and their parents about the importance of books, the joy of reading and how reading aloud twenty minutes a day will help set their child on a successful path to their future.


Our Partners


Our StafF

Susan Rockwell

   Executive Director

Executive Director

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Sue Rockwell has been the leader behind Reach Out and Read Virginia for nine years, an intervention providing family support around at pediatric well child visits encouraging early brain development, health and wellness.  Since 2004, the Virginia region is part of a national organization that partners with pediatricians to promote the importance of reading aloud to parents of young children.  Sue brings over twenty-five years of experience working in non-profit work environments.  She began her career working in higher education which includes Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School.  She also has an MS in Communications from Boston University.  Her favorite children's book is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Contact Sue



ADvisory Board

Medical Directors


Dr. Addie Briggs, M.D.
East End Pediatrics


Melody Ailsworth, D.O.
General Pediatrics
Richeson Drive Pediatrics

Board Members

Debbie Kammeter
Community Volunteer

LaVern Morris
Site Coordinator - Reach Out and Read
Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters

Kathryn Starke
Author and Reading Specialist
Creative Minds Publications

Ex Officio

Susan Rockwell
Executive Director
Reach Out and Read Virginia/D.C.