Dedicate your birthday, wedding, or another celebration to Reach Out and Read Illinois. Ask your friends and family to make a donation in your honor in lieu of gifts. Contact Reach Out and Read Illinois Director Cindy Ogrin to learn more.
Help Create a Literacy-Rich Waiting Room
Volunteers can help improve the waiting rooms of Reach Out and Read program sites in their communities by donating:
- Gently-used books
- Story time rugs
- New bookcases
- Child-sized furniture (benches, chairs, or tables)
Find out which Reach Out and Read Illinois program site is in need of your donations by connecting with Illinois Director.
Host A Book Drive
Everyone knows how expensive high-quality children’s books can be. That’s why community book drives are an important source of support for Reach Out and Read programs in Illinois.
Note: Reach Out and Read only distributes new children’s books in the exam room during regular pediatric checkups, but used books are often used in the waiting room, given away to children who come for a sick visit, or given to siblings who don’t have an appointment that day, but would like a book to take home as well.
If you’re interested in organizing a book drive for a Reach Out and Read program in your community, here are some guidelines to help in your planning. These guidelines were developed out of respect for families and in keeping with the philosophy of Reach Out and Read – every child deserves quality, appropriate books.
- Contact Reach Out and Read Illinois Director to determine which program site near you has the greatest needs.
- Reach Out and Read’s focus is on children between the ages of 6 months through 5 years.
- Used books must be “gently-used” (covers and pages intact, clean, and readable).
- Hardcover picture books with brightly-colored pictures and interesting stories are ideal.
- All books should be developmentally-appropriate and culturally-appropriate. Books about sensitive issues like divorce, abuse, or death cannot be accepted, nor can books which include any reference to religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.
- For a list of suggested children’s books, please refer to the Annotated Book List for Children.
- Reach Out and Read programs are run by clinic volunteers; therefore, it is greatly appreciated when volunteers drop books off directly at the clinic.