Partnering with medical providers to ensure success in school for all of America’s children.

OUR MISSION: Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school
by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.


is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. Reach Out and Read serves more than 4 million children and their families annually. Reach Out and Read families read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.

Congresswoman Susan Davis reads aloud to a group of children at Family Health Center, Logan Heights.

Dianne Feinstein with staff.


Pediatricians and other clinicians are trained in the three part Reach Out and Read model in an effort to promote pediatric literacy:

  1. At every well-child check-up, doctors and nurses encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. Parents who may have difficulty reading are encouraged to invent their own stories to go with picture books and spend time naming objects with their children.
  2. Pediatricians, family physicians and nurses give every child between the ages of six months and five years a new, developmentally appropriate children’s book to keep.
  3. In literacy rich waiting room environments, often with volunteer readers, parents and children learn about the pleasures and techniques of looking at books together.


The American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3 (AAP-CA3), is the organizing agency for a coordinated Reach Out and Read effort in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The Reach Out and Read San Diego Collaborative is working to help expand and sustain Reach out and Read in San Diego by recruiting new sites, providing support with progress reports and book inventory, sending out trainers for Reach Out and Read training of new staff and physicians and assisting with and coordinating fundraising for book money. Almost any pediatrician can have their office or clinic become a Reach Out and Read site. Some of our offices have been implementing Reach Out and Read for over 30 years.

We are fortunate to have many community members as part of our Reach Out and Read San Diego Collaborative effort, including the San Diego County Library (San Diego County Libraries Partnership), the County of San Diego- Maternal, Child and Family Health Services, the Community Clinic Network, CPCMG Medical Group, Sharp Rees Stealy, the Navy Medical Center, The Council on Literacy and other groups. As a collaborative, we will work together to build and support Reach Out and Read and pediatric literacy in San Diego.

Reach Out and Read San Diego is continuing to expand in San Diego, reaching more children, with 85 active sites.


The American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3’s Reach Out and Read San Diego program is honored to be recognized as a champion of early childhood literacy in San Diego and Imperial counties.  Annually Reach Out and Read San Diego presents a Golden Book Award, honoring an outstanding representative of our program.


RORSD presented three organizations with it’s 2018 Golden Book Awards.  This year’s awards were presented to Mark Harryman- Pt. Loma/Hervey Branch Library, the Peninsula YMCA, and First 5 San Diego on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Thanking these three outstanding organizations for their continued support of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3’s annual Read & Romp.  We appreciate the years of involvement and support that these groups bring to our event each year.


• Dr. Richard Walls, Pediatrician, Children’s Primary Care Medical Group (CPCMG)- 2014
• Leah Haberman, Volunteer- 2014
• Stacie Bresler, Volunteer- 2013
• Gail Cohn, Volunteer- 2013
• Gale Ivie, ROR Coordinator, Kaiser So CA- 2012
• Dr. Laurence Ashbaucher, Pediatrician, Kaiser Permanente- 2011
• Phyllis, Colter, Volunteer- 2010
• Dr. Michelle Melendez, Pediatrician, Clinicas de Salud- 2009
• Dr. Sharon Sternfeld, Pediatrician, Children’s Primary Care Medical Group (CPCMG)- 2009
• Pat Downs, Children’s Librarian, San Diego County Library- 2009
• Michelle Davis, ROR Multi-site coordinator, North County Health Services (NCHS)- 2009


On September 23, 2014, Reach Out and Read San Diego, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3, received a Proclamation from the City of Chula Vista proclaiming September as School Attendance Awareness Month. Along with concerned local agencies the Chula Vista Elementary School District, United Way of San Diego, the Chula Vista Public Library, YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Foundry Church, for the combined efforts under the project title “Chula Vista Reads” to raise awareness on the value and importance of reading at grade level and the role that good attendance plays in helping children meet grade level standards. Proclamation issued by Cheryl Cox, 39th Mayor of the City of Chula Vista.

On November 8, 2011, Reach Out and Read San Diego, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3, received a Proclamation from the County of San Diego honoring Family Literacy Month. It was proclaimed by Chairman Bill Horn and all members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, that they commend Reach Out and Read San Diego for outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to our region. Proclamation presented by Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, County of San Diego.

The International Reading Association and the Greater San Diego Reading Association honored Reach Out and Read San Diego, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3 with a Celebrate Literacy Award for Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Literacy. Award granted by International Reading Association President, Patricia A. Edwards, 2011.



President – Liza Suh, MD
Kaiser Permanente, San Diego

Dr. Suh is a practicing pedestrian at Kaiser Permanente.

Vice President – Christine L. Johnson, MD, FAAP

Secretary – Sabrina Perrino, MD, FAAP

Treasurer – Wendy Pavlovich, MD MPH FAAP
Family Health Center San Diego

Executive Director – Meredith Kennedy, MPH
American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3

ImmediatePresident – Nate McFarland, MD,FAAP


Janet Crow, MD

Jershonda Hartsfield, MD

Wendy Pavlovich, MD

Marsha Spitzer, MD

Sharon Sternfeld, MD


Executive Director – Meredith Kennedy, MPH

Project Director – Tara Milbrand, MSW

Project Specialist – Cindy Little

Project Assistant-Elena Luellen