If started early on in life, reading is a fun activity most kids will learn to love. My husband and I have been reading to our 15–month–old nearly every day since she was born. I even packed On the Day You Were Born in my hospital suitcase.

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national non-profit organization who, along with pediatricians, promotes early literacy. Together they encourage parents to start reading aloud to their children at an early age and provide the tools to help the process.

To learn about the benefits of reading and ROR, read more.

As part of pediatric primary care, doctors emphasize the importance of reading aloud to their young children. Starting at six-month check–ups, the pediatricians give books to their patients until they reach age five. And, in the instance that a parent is unable to read, ROR refers the parents to adult literacy organizations so they may learn how to read before their babes do.

ROR research shows:

Babies who grow up in a language-rich environment, where they are read to, sung to, and told stories to, demonstrate higher reading skills than other children. And this is true regardless of their family income. When parents hold their children in their laps and read to them, they teach children that reading is important and that they also teach them that they're important.

If you're interested in ROR, ask your pediatrician about the program. And if you would like to volunteer as a reader or make a donation, click here.

You can start at home by popping your tot in your lap for a good read right now.