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Children’s Literacy Program

Healthier Lives Through Reading

The goal of Hennepin Healthcare's Children’s Literacy Program is to connect young patients and visitors with books because children who read lead healthier lives. Sharing books and stories is a great way to drive language development and brain growth, both of which support success in school and in life. Hennepin Healthcare incorporates literacy promotion into healthcare delivery whenever, wherever we can, via the Reach Out and Read program in Pediatrics as well as throughout many hospital departments and community clinic locations. We distribute more than 30,000 children’s books annually, beginning at birth and continuing through adolescence.

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read partners with medical providers to promote early literacy and school readiness in exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. Participating families read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early literacy skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age and continuing through age 5. Across the country, 4.7 million children and their families participate every year through programs in over 5,800 clinics. To learn more, visit the national Reach Out and Read website.


Get involved: There are many ways to get involved on a one-time or regular basis. Volunteer to read with children in our waiting rooms or work behind the scenes as part of the book distribution network at the hospital. We also welcome volunteers with business and community connections, fundraising experience, and more.

Communicate: Tell your friends about us. Share our work with your organization or faith community.  If you are a member of a faith community, business group, book club, or community organization, would you be willing to: Sponsor or help plan a fundraiser? Pass the hat at your next meeting? Speak to your group on our behalf? Brainstorm with us about ways your group might contribute to our work.


contact photo only elizabeth schaefer roob children's literacy

Betsy Schaefer Roob

Children’s Literacy Liaison
[email protected]