Reach Out and Read, Northeast

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We’RE COMING to Maine!

We are working to ensure that early literacy promotion ​continues to be an integral part of pediatric primary care in ​the state. We are accepting applications now and launching ​our first programs in the state beginning on July 1, 2024.


Check out the resources below and feel free to contact us if ​you have questions that aren’t answered. If you have any ​trouble with the application – we are here to help!

Apply today!

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If you missed our information ​sessions, watch one here!

What Maine Clinics Need to know

what will be the same

  • The basic program model: we ​promote early literacy and ​relational health during well child ​visits.

  • Clinical partners like you will deliver ​the program. You will give families ​guidance at every visit and a ​new, developmentally appropriate​ book ​b​eginning at the 6 month exam.

  • We​ will fundraise on your behalf and​ put those funds into accounts w​ith the book vendors we use to p​u​rchase books at reduced cost.

  • We​ will also support programs by pr​oviding trai​ning and technical assistance.

what will be different

  • Everyone who conducts well child visits ​will have to take a one-time, CME-​accredited online training.

  • You will select your own books from ​Reach Out and Read catalogs and they ​will be sent directly to you.

  • Twice a year we will ask you to report on ​how many children you saw, their ​demographics, and how many books you ​gave them.

  • At least annually we will check in with you ​to be sure that you have enough books ​and provide any technical assistance you ​may need.

A Man Reading Book with His Baby

ne​xt steps

  • Federally Qualified Health Centers ​(FQHCs) and clinics that have a high ​percentage of Medicaid patients will ​be prioritized as we start bringing on ​Maine programs -- beginning July 1, ​2024.

  • Interested clinics should let us know by ​beginning an application or contacting ​us.

  • Once we see how many clinics are ​interested and how many children they ​care for, we will begin bringing them on ​in June, 2024.

  • Accepted sites that are not brought on ​immediately will be added to a waiting ​list and onboarded as soon as funding is ​av​ailable.
Frequently asked questions FAQ banner

We have never had to apply or report before, why do you have these ​requirements?

Reach Out and Read does not have the resources to bring the program to every clinic in every state. Having a national ​application process helps us plan, fundraise, and budget for bringing on new sites. It also helps ensure that our expansion ​is equitable and prioritizes historically marginalized communities.

And having a reporting requirement helps us:

  • Identify clinics where we need to provide additional program support;
  • Anticipate what fundraising we will need to do to meet the region’s book needs; and
  • Ensure that all of the programs in our region meet the same high quality standards.

Why do we have to complete training before we can start the program?

Anyone who conducts well child visits (MDs, DOs, RNs, PAs) needs complete a one time, online, CME-qualified training. We ​know that there are tremendous pressures on their time but we believe that the quality of their anticipatory guidance is ​essential to the success of the program and that they are the vital link to improving outcomes for children and families. ​We want everyone to have the same tools and language to communicate that anticipatory guidance.

What do I need to have in order to complete an application?

You can start and stop an application as many times as you would like. You can temporarily put “n/a” in a section in order ​to move through other parts of the application you are ready to complete, but you will eventually need:

  • Information about how many children you see each year and their demographics (age, race, language spoken at home, ​and insurance coverage).
  • Your clinic’s W9 (a federal form that documents your Taxpayer Identification Number)
  • If you are a nonprofit organization, a copy of your IRS 501c3 determination letter
  • A letter from your organization’s leadership indicating that they support your clinic’s participation in Reach Out and ​Read. (There is a template on the National Center’s website, and we have a special one for our region’s Federally ​Qualified Health Centers.)

If you are having trouble answering a question, please contact us.

What if we are a Federally Qualified Health Center?

We are prioritizing bringing on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). If your organization is a FQHC, many of the ​National Center’s application questions do not apply to you but you cannot leave them blank. Please contact us directly for ​help in filling out your application.

So, what’s the plan?

We want to serve as many children and families as possible but we haven’t had time to build the funding and program ​capacity we would need to bring on all of Maine’s sites at once, so we are phasing our expansion. We are working to ​determine how many clinics we can bring on, when we can bring them on, and how they will be prioritized. We do know ​that we will initially prioritize Federally Qualified Health Centers. We will update this FAQ as we have more information.

What does your timing look like for bringing on clinics?

We are currently accepting applications and working with clinics that have approved applications to ensure that they are ​ready to start as soon as possible after July 1, 2024. If we have more interested sites than we have funding for, some sites ​will be waitlisted and brought on as resources allow.

Should my fundraising team start applying for grants to purchase books for ​our clinic?

To sustainably support Maine going forward, Reach Out and Read plans to seek funding from corporations, foundations, ​and individual donors. We generally have more success and are able to tap into larger grants than individual clinics doing ​their own asks because we fundraise on behalf of entire communities, states, or regions. We encourage you to let us ​fundraise on your behalf and not pursue funding specifically for books at this moment.

Is it possible to support Reach Out and Read in Maine directly?

Absolutely! We need all the help we can get to make this a smooth transition for families and clinics. We’d encourage you ​to visit the donation page we have created just for Maine programs.

“Reach Out and Read is so much more than a book giveaway program. Pediatric ​practitioners amplify the impact of giving families a book by combining the gift ​with advice from a trusted source about how and why to use it.“

-- Alex Chu, RORNE Executive Director

our model

At routine health checkups from infancy through age five, Reach Out and Read-trained pediatric clinicians:

Talk with parents about the ​benefits of reading aloud and ​engaging with their young ​children in language rich ​activities

Encourage families to cuddle ​up, read together at home, and ​build routines around books

Give the child a new, ​developmentally and culturally ​appropriate book for their ​home library

During the exam, practitioners use the book for developmental surveillance, ​observing how the child and caregiver interact with the book and each other

Reach Out and Read is 501(c)3 nonprofit that gives young children a foundation for success by ​incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. To support our ​expansion of programming in Maine:

Reach Out and Read, Northeast

89 South Street, Suite 201

Boston, MA 02111


Alex Chu

Regional Executive Director