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Partner Clinic Application Process

How to Become a Reach Out and Read Program Site - Kansas City Coalition

To become an official Reach Out and Read program, there are a few simple steps to complete:

  1. Determine who will be your Medical Consultant and Site Coordinator
  2. Please provide Jenny Horsley, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read KC (ROR-KC), with the following:
    • # of well-child visits for children birth – through age 5 yrs in the last 12 months.
    • The percentage of patients you serve with private insurance.
  3. Submit an online application
  4. Once approved, all medical providers who see children (birth through age 5 years) must complete the Reach Out and Read provider training through an online CME training course (1.25 credits). Pediatric and Family Care residents will receive an in-person training from the ROR-KC Medical Director on the program delivery.

Once this information is received, the Executive Director will set up a time to discuss next steps.

There are two important program roles to fill: Medical Consultant and Site Coordinator.

Medical Consultant

A pediatric primary care provider (M.D., D.O., NP, or PA) who is an enthusiastic champion of Reach Out and Read and endorses the critical importance of language development during the first 2,000 days of a child's life. While this is not a demanding or time-consuming role, the Medical Consultant will lead the practice in implementing the clinical components of the program:

  • Ensure that Reach Out and Read best practices are implemented throughout the pediatric or family practice department;
  • Foster discussion of and create support for efficient systems (book delivery to the exam room)
  • Assure compliance of requisite training by provider staff;
  • Share relevant information on early literacy and language development that Reach Out and Read makes available from time to time;
  • Act as the medical "face" of the program; connect with the executive leadership of the health center, clinic, or practice to champion the need for literacy promotion, books, and funding.
Site Coordinator

Any interested staff member familiar with the clinic, staff, and patient population. This role supports the Medical Consultant and is responsible for administrative aspects:

  • Reporting monthly to Reach Out and Read Kansas City on program statistics and information
  • Implementing a system for tracking the number of books distributed;
  • Completing the semi-annual Progress Reports;
  • Ensuring a literacy-rich waiting room environment; coordinating volunteer readers (if any).

Both roles are typically voluntary and take very little time each month.

Application Timeline

  1. Start an online application online. After you provide basic contact information, your program site will be issued a Site ID and password and redirected to, where the application is finished and submitted. During this time your site's status is "Application in Process." (You may repeatedly log in and work on the application over time.)
  2. Along with the completed application, you must also submit a letter of support stating your practice's commitment to ongoing funding of the Reach Out and Read program, signed by the departmental head, clinic medical director, or executive director. (Details on how to submit the letter and application are provided in the application.) Once the Letter of Support is received, your site's status is "Application Complete."
  3. Applications completed by the third Monday of each month are reviewed by the National Reach Out and Read Application Review Committee.
  4. Upon approval, you can expect to receive an email from Reach Out and Read stating the current status of your application is “Approved-Needs Training." At that time, the provider(s) need to individually complete the online CME course.
  5. Once the medical providers at your practice have completed the required training, and staff members have been oriented by a Reach Out and Read Kansas City staff member your site becomes "Active" and you may begin implementing Reach Out and Read at your practice.

Required Application Information

  • Contact information for the designated Medical Consultant and Site Coordinator
  • Names and email addresses for all pediatric and family practice providers* seeing children ages birth through five years. (Email addresses are used for CME course password purposes.)
    *This information must be complete and accurately reflect the TOTAL number of participating medical providers.
  • Accurate data on the annual total number of well-child visits (birth through age 5), as well as relevant insurance.
  • Letter of Support: A statement of commitment to the Reach Out and Read model. Submit your Letter of Support by one of the following options:
  • List your Reach Out and Read "satellites," if any. These are any affiliated, off-site clinical locations of your health center, clinic or hospital which will also offer Reach Out and Read. Please remember to list all providers at satellite location(s) in your application, as well.

Once Your Application Has Been Approved

  • Medical providers must receive official Reach Out and Read training before implementing the Reach Out and Read program. 
  • All staff will be required to attend a mandatory orientation session with the Reach Out and Read Kansas City staff.
Frequently Asked Questions

The Reach Out and Read model is designed to be implemented by medical professionals who provide primary care to children, birth through 5 years, as part of the well-child checkup. Both pediatric practices and family practices that see children may participate in Reach Out and Read. 

Reach Out and Read has become an essential part of pediatric practices across the country- from large, urban practices to small, rural clinics. By introducing a beautiful, new book at thebeginning of a well-child visit, providers find they can better engage and calm the child, providemeaningful, positive literacy promotion messages to the parent or guardian, and build strongerconnections with the family. Using the book in the exam room opens up the opportunity to talk about other relevant topics - sleep routines, the importance of a child's first 2,000 days, school readiness - and also offers providers a new and valuable tool for monitoring the child's development. And, Reach Out and Read encounters are often the nicest of the provider's day.

The Reach Out and Read model for literacy promotion has three key elements:
  • Primary care providers (doctors, NPs, PAs and RNs) are trained to deliver early literacy anticipatory guidance to parents of children from birth through 5 years of age during each well-child visit. This age-appropriate guidance centers on the importance of: frequent and early exposure to language, looking at board books and naming pictures with infants, rhyme and repetition for gaining phonemic awareness during toddlerhood, and reading interactively (such as using open-ended questions) when reading with preschoolers.
  • During well-child visits for children ages birth through 5 years, the provider uses a developmentally and culturally appropriate book to perform the developmental check-up, including but not limited to, observing motor development, cognitive abilities, eye sight, etc. while talking with caregivers about the importance of reading aloud daily. At the end of the visit the child gets to take the book home and the caregivers receive a ‘prescription’ to read aloud daily.
  • Reach Out and Read program sites also create literacy-rich environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use or for siblings to take home. In some waiting rooms, Reach Out and Read Kansas City provides volunteers to model for parents the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud to very young children.

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based intervention. 15 peer-reviewed and published studies show that literacy-promoting interventions by a pediatrician using the Reach Out and Read model have a significant effect on parental behavior, beliefs toward reading aloud, and receptive and expressive language scores of children. Studies also show that parents who receive books and literacy counseling from their pediatricians are more likely to read to their young children and bring more books into the home.

There are two primary roles in each Reach Out and Read program site, the Medical Consultant and Site Coordinator. See above, Start a Program.

  • Review information and steps (above) on how to Start A Program
  • Complete the online application at 

Medical providers have a choice. They can complete the Reach Out and Read online CME Course, which offers 1.25 level one CME credits. Once your program site has been approved, each participating provider at your program site will receive his or her individual login information to complete the online course.

Prior to beginning the program, the entire practice, including medical assistants and non-medical personnel, will attend a mandatory all-staff orientation facilitated by Reach Out and Read Kansas City staff at your clinic location at a time convenient for clinic staff. This builds enthusiasm for, commitment to, and understanding of the Reach Out and Read program and model. It also includes them in discussions about which systems are best put into place for: getting the books to the exam rooms, the practical issues such as book storage and a tracking system, as well as ideas for creating your literacy-rich waiting room.

The Reach Out and Read model calls for the provider to give a new, age- and culturally-appropriate book in the exam room at each well-child visit. Read Kansas City will provide 100% of the book support for children attending well-child visits each month at your clinic. The Book Coordinator at Reach Out and Read Kansas City will provide age, developmentally, and culturally appropriate books to the clinic each month to meet the needs of the diverse patient population and needs. Each book is stickered to identify what age range is appropriate and a sheet explaining the sticker system is provided at the mandatory orientation.

Reach Out and Read programs also like to have gently-used donated books available in the waiting areas for parents to share with children as they wait, for siblings tagging along to the checkup, and/or for sick visits. Gently-used children's books are provided by Reach Out and Read Kansas City as needed or available. Local book drives are held throughout the year by ROR-KC to collect gently used books.

Reach Out and Read recognizes that children and parents spend time in the waiting room. To take advantage of this time, the Reach Out and Read model recommends using the waiting room to promote the joy of reading aloud and to provide related information such as read-aloud tips and information on the local library. All new program sites receive Reach Out and Read posters to hang. In Reach Out and Read Kansas City waiting rooms:

  • Volunteers provide children with positive reading experiences and help parents understand that a picture or storybook is an easy, portable way to keep a young child engaged in almost any situation.
  • Volunteers model read-aloud techniques that show parents by example that reading with children is a vigorous, enjoyable process. 

Not all program sites have waiting rooms or wait times suitable for volunteer reader programs. However, all Reach Out and Read programs can develop a literacy-rich environment. The waiting room needs will be determined and resources supplied as necessary to create a literacy-rich waiting room environment.

Reach Out and Read Kansas City staff are available every day, Monday-Friday to answer questions, provide support, and insure that the program is providing high-quality, effective programming. A list of staff contact information is provided at the all-staff orientation. Reach Out and Read Kansas City also hosts quarterly coalition meetings the 3rd Wednesday of the month (Feb, May, Aug, & Nov) at 7:30 a.m. to allow program participants to come tougher and get updated information and resources and stay abreast to any changes at the coalition level.

Reach Out and Read Kansas City

Reach Out and Read Kansas City

Mailing Address:
3901 Rainbow Boulevard

Mailstop 1051

Kansas City, KS 66160 

Physical Address:
KU Medical Center Support Services Building
2100 W. 36th Ave
Kansas City, KS 66103

Phone: 913-588-2793