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At OneWorld, every time a child (from six months to age 5) attends a well-child checkup, the child’s family receives a developmentally and culturally appropriate book, and medical providers work to incorporate literacy into the exam. During pediatric exams, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to children.

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based practice; 15 independent studies published in medical journals have found that the program is effective in promoting literacy. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, high-risk urban families participating in Reach Out and Read read to their children more frequently, and children exposed to Reach Out and Read had higher receptive and expressive language scores.

As OneWorld enters its 14th year with Reach Out and Read, the program’s goal of helping parents to understand the importance of reading to children is as pertinent as ever. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 63 percent of Nebraska fourth-graders are proficient in reading, but the number remains virtually unchanged by eighth grade (64 percent). Nationally, these numbers both stand at 66 percent. There is work to be done to improve these levels, and thanks to the generosity of Wells Fargo and other supporters, OneWorld continues to address the issue by providing an average of 250 books per month to young children during the most critical stages of their development.

How You Can Help

Interested community members can support OneWorld’s Reach Out and Read program in three ways:

  • Make a donation (to donate online, click the “donate” button on this page or visit
  • Send a check made out to OneWorld with “Reach Out and Read” in the memo line, which we will use to purchase new books in both English and Spanish.
  • Donate new and gently used books to OneWorld from community book drives.

To learn more about OneWorld’s Reach Out and Read program, contact Megan Gehrke at

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