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Through a collaboration with Scholastic, 350,000 books will be shared with families during well-child visits at Reach Out and Read clinics nationwide

“Through our network of clinicians, we will now put those meaningful, joyous books in the hands of families who might not otherwise have them.”— Marty Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Reach Out and Read

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, May 20, 2024 / / -- Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit promoting early childhood literacy and healthy family relationships, announced the launch of 35 for 35, a children’s book collection curated and printed with its decades-long partner, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company. The 35-book collection, created to honor Reach Out and Read’s 35th anniversary, celebrates the vibrant communities, inclusive families, and diverse cultures of the tens of millions of children served across the organization’s history.

Reach Out and Read and Scholastic collaborated to create this bold, new $1 million collection; 10,000 copies of each of the 35 titles — 350,000 total books — will be printed, and the collection will be shipped as a set in a special carton to medical clinics nationwide. The wide-ranging collection features newer voices alongside best-selling authors and literary award winners, including American poet Nikki Giovanni, author and educator Joanna Ho, basketball star Lebron James, and children’s book author Tami Charles. The collection’s titles offer fun and relatable stories kids will want to read again and again and feature important themes, like culture and identity. ( See the full list of books and authors here.)

“Reach Out and Read wants parents and their young children to build lifelong bonds over shared reading. To do that, we must provide access to books that authentically mirror their lives or offer a window into others’, which is critical in those early years,” said Marty Martinez, CEO of Reach Out and Read. “We collaborated with Scholastic on this collection because of their reach and their ability to work with publishing partners to include as many titles, authors, and illustrators as possible. Through our network of clinicians, we will now put those meaningful, joyous books in the hands of families who might not otherwise have them.”

Reach Out and Read is working with its Affiliates nationwide to get cartons of the collection — containing each of the 35 books, with stories suitable for kids from birth to 5 — out to clinics across the country. The first shipment will be sent to clinics in the Carolinas, D.C., Greater New York, Minnesota, Northeast, Oregon, Virginia and Washington. Using the Reach Out and Read model, medical providers will share the books with families with young children at no cost during well-child visits, alongside evidence-based guidance about literacy and nurturing relationships through shared reading.

Research shows 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. Positive Childhood Experiences like shared reading have been proven to offset childhood trauma. Reach Out and Read serves more than 4 million children and their families annually. They have partnered with publisher, sponsor, and donor Scholastic since 1997.

“Capable, innovative and driven partners, like Reach Out and Read, who share our vision of reading for all children and are committed to working together, are the key to changing the trajectory of today’s literacy crisis,” said Judy Newman, Chief Impact Officer at Scholastic. “Scholastic is proud of our partnership with Reach Out and Read, and we are ready to make the 35 for 35 collection goals a reality through high-quality, inclusive, representative books for all children, and the efficient fulfillment network to support Reach Out and Read’s distribution to those children and their families. Reach Out and Read’s mission to link reading to wellness starting with newborns is beautifully expressed through this collection and signals a bold new chapter in their commitment to ensuring all children have a bright, literate future.”

The dynamic, vital, unprecedented collection underscores Reach Out and Read’s unique role in supporting the foundational moments of all young children through literacy, transformative relationships, and holistic pediatric care. It also demonstrates the nonprofit’s commitment to providing books that represent the communities it serves.

Author Tami Charles’s “We Are Here,” a much-anticipated follow-up to her New York Times bestselling “All Because You Matter,” is included in 35 for 35. Lyrical, affirmational, and bursting with love, “We Are Here” is a poignant story about Black and brown heritage and community.

“Growing up, my fondest memories were having my parents read to or with me. Shared reading strengthens family bonds and creates a magic beyond comparison. Reach Out and Read fosters this magic, and I’m incredibly proud that my book will be featured in the 35 for 35 collection,” concluded Charles.

Charles keynoted the collection launch during Reach Out and Read’s Leadership Conference in New York on May 15. Andrea Davis Pinkey and Brian Pinkney, whose “Hello Beautiful You” is also in the collection, appeared on Reach Out and Read’s podcast on May 16.

Find the wide range of digital content in support of the collection at

About Reach Out and Read: As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Reach Out and Read leverages the near-universal reach of the pediatric well-child visit to support caregivers in fostering healthy relationships with their young children through shared reading. The only national pediatric literacy model endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read serves 4.4 million children across every state across the U.S., through 6,200 clinics and the expertise of 36,000 clinicians. Discover more at

Bethany Rhodes

National Strategies Public Relations

[email protected]

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