reach out and read at the chicago public library! toolkit

In 2022, Reach Out and Read Illinois and the Chicago Public Library partnered up to develop the Reach Out and Read at the Chicago Public Library! pilot project. The Chicago Public Library (CPL) has a wealth of resources for families that often go underutilized, particularly by those that could most benefit from them. Barriers to library use include lack of information, mistrust, concerns about documentation status, and the belief that the library is not for children. Pediatricians are in a unique position to promote library use and decrease barriers because they have early and repeated interactions with families, starting at birth, and the opportunity to develop a relationship of trust. The overarching goal of this program was to increase at-risk families’ awareness and utilization of library programming by creating personal connections between local librarians and ROR-IL coordinators and providers throughout the city of Chicago.

pilot locations

The Reach Out and Read at the Chicago Public Library! project partners were located in the following neighborhoods (outlined in red above): Uptown, Near West Side, North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Riverdale, and Chicago Lawn.


Book lists

Diverse books
  • Cerca/Close by Juan Felipe Herrera
  • Federico and All His Families by Mili Hernández
  • Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
  • Homemade Love by bell hooks
  • Whose Knees Are These? by Jabari Asim
  • Drawn Together by Minh Lê
  • Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
  • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
  • I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes
  • Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
  • Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour
  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar
  • My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
  • Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
  • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
  • Your Name Is A Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

storytime kit lists

Sock, scissors, felt, pipe cleaners, pompons, googly eyes, buttons, glue dots

• Use your sock doc to talk about your visit to the doctor
• Act out a story with your sock doc
• Play show and tell with your sock doc
• Explore other ways to make puppets with household items (paper plates, popsicle sticks, etc.)
• Sing a song, such as Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes

Daniel Visits the Doctor by Becky Friedman
Froggy Goes to the Doctor by Jonathan London
I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems
Pete the Kitty Goes to the Doctor by Kim Dean
Who Needs a Checkup by Norman Feuti


  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Yield: 2 cups


Combine the materials to make artificial boogers (“oobleck”) and read the book to understand the spread the germs and how to prevent it!


Germs Make me Sick! by Melvin Berger


  • Safety scissors
  • Brass fasteners
  • White cardstock


Cut out the following from your cardstock:

  • Skull (head)
  • Rib cage
  • Pelvis
  • (2) upper-arm bones
  • (2) lower-arm bones with hands
  • (2) upper-leg bones
  • (2) lower-leg bones with feet

Connect the bones using brass fasteners at the joints.


Dem Bones by Bob Barner

librarian outreach at the clinic

Engage your patients and families by hosting a librarian visit in the waiting room of your practice. Our participating librarians brought grab and go kits, free books, and information about events at their library branch to share with young patients. Additionally, they used this time to connect with families and sign them up for library cards. 

Pictured Above: Librarian Cydni Hinton hosting an outreach event at one of our ROR at CPL clinic locations. 


"The Reach Out and Reach at the Chicago Public Library! partnership this year has made our clinic staff more excited about Reach Out and Read; we have been able to get more of them on board with making sure our patients get a book. It's been great to see them explain to families about the activity bags and how the books are the theme. We've really grown as a group and clinic by getting to participate in Reach Out and Read"
Stacy Laurent, DO
Rush Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read Medical Director