Document Type

DNP - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Victoria Britson


Reach Out and Read© program, shared book reading, literacy, primary care providers, education outcomes, health outcomes


Purpose: The purpose of this project was to increase the number of days per week parents read to their children ages six months to five years in order to increase literacy, brain and language development, and improve parent-child relationships and health outcomes.
Review of Literature: Between birth and age five, 90% of a child’s brain development occurs (Theriot et al., 2003). The Reach Out and Read© program is an evidence-based program incorporating books into well-child visits by primary care providers ages 6 months to 5 years (Reach Out and Read©, 2014). After being introduced to literacy programs, frequency of shared book reading increased by parents to children (Kumar et al, 2016). Children of parents who read books consistently to their children were found to have higher receptive and expressive vocabulary, greater parent-child relationships, higher cognitive and language development, and greater school readiness (AAP, 2014; Kumar et al., 2014). Individuals with lower health literacy more often were found to have poorer health status, unhealthy behaviors, less utilization of preventative services, higher rates of chronic disease, increased healthcare costs, and eventually poorer health outcomes (Miller, Lee, DeWalt, & Vann, Jr, 2014).
Summary of the Project: This project took place at a rural Midwestern primary care clinic which serves patients over their lifespan, primarily Caucasian, English-speaking, and low to middle socioeconomic class. Clinic nurses administered demographic and pre-questionnaires to parents of children 6 months to 5 years of age attending well-child visits assessing at home shared book frequency and attitudes toward book reading. Primary care providers gave a developmentally appropriate book to the child upon entering the well child visit and provided education and guidance to the parent regarding early literacy interventions and anticipatory guidance. Two-months after the visit, a postquestionnaire was mailed or emailed to the parent assessing frequency of reading and attitudes toward book reading.
Expected Findings: After introduction to the Reach Out and Read© program, shared book frequency was increased, attitudes toward book reading was enhanced, and literacy outcomes and vocabulary was enhanced through statistical evaluation using paired t-tests.
Implications for NPs: This project proves literacy promotion can greatly impact parents and their children. Primary care providers should encourage reading at least three times a week starting at 6 months of age. By encouraging at home shared book reading and educating parents on the importance of starting early, children can thrive through substantial educational and health outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Children -- Books and reading
Oral reading
Parent and child


Includes bibliographical references (pages 52-57)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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