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EARLY LITERACY - Reach Out and Read Philippines (RORP)

Our Mission

To provide training, support and guidance to develop Reach Out and Read (ROR) Programs in our most at-risk communities, to teach parents the importance of early childhood literacy, and to put books into the hands and homes of disadvantaged young Filipino children.

The Problem

How Reach Out and Read helps

How Reach Out and Read Works

Reach Out and Read Philippines

Reach Out and Read National Center, United States

For more information, contact Carmen Ramos-Bonoan, MD., FAAP, National Director, Reach Out and Read Philippines, by email at or by mobile phone at 0917-819-6193; 0917-806-5113 or the Philippine Ambulatory Pediatric Association, Inc.,  Unit 1409 Balagtas Royal Mansion, 168 Balagtas Street, Pasay City by telefax: +632 525 1797 and email:


2003-2004: Committee on Reach Out and Read introduced plans for a project in PCMC to read and distribute books to children 4-6 years old during well-baby visits, or with minor and chronic illnesses, to develop a love of reading and increase literacy rates in children.

2005- 2006: Literacy program called “Bukas Aklat-Bukas Isip” (Teaching Wellness Through Literacy Appreciation) developed in PCMC to integrate literacy into pediatric primary care and empower child to take an active role in his own health care. Proposal and module development to create a reading kit orientation sessions done.

*Leadership team of PAPA met with Dr. Perri Klass, Medical Director of ROR National Center at AAP conference in San Francisco to discuss plans to link PAPA literacy program with US RORNC. Proposals to implement ROR model in 4 hospital-based pediatric outpatient continuity clinics as pilot sites submitted to RORNC.

2007-2008: Dr. Perri Klass was the plenary speaker during the 12th annual PAPA convention in Feb 2007, and spoke on promoting early literacy in pediatric primary care.

*ROR launched in pediatric continuity clinics of 4 designated hospitals: V. Luna General Hospital of Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, University of Santo Tomas Hospital Clinical Division and Philippine General Hospital.

*Committee on Early Pediatric Literacy created with 2 programs: ROR Philippines adapted from RORNC model, “Bukas Aklat-Bukas Isip” (BABI): a program to teach basic health and wellness concepts through reading and books for children 5 to 9 years old in PCMC.

Funding for VLGH ROR obtained from The Alabang Center. Donation from RORNC for books in new RORP sites.

*Initial meetings and presentations on ROR implementation given to National Board for Book Development, UNICEF, Aklat Sisikat Foundation, Save the Children, National Book Store, McDonald Charities Foundation, Rotary Club of QC, Reading Association of the Philippines, Department of Health, and Rotary International Day at the United Nations, New York City.

*Collaboration with Adarna House to develop, print and distribute  culturally and developmentally appropriate board books in Filipino and Filipino/English; 1st printing of books distributed to ROR sites and bookstores. Collaboration with Scholastic to purchase books for children 6 months to 5 years old at discounted price.

*Advice on reading aloud integrated with Bahaghari (Guidelines for Health Supervision for Infants, Children and Adolescents).

2008-2009: Official RORP logo given by RORNC. RORP fact sheet printed and distributed.

2009-2011: Funded by Read Foundation to integrate ROR model in the Nutrition, Health and ECCD Program of Aurora, in collaboration with Adarna House which printed board books about the province.

*Tarlac Early Literacy Project (TELP) presented by RORP and Adarna House in Tarlac and MOA signed with Provincial Governor to implement ROR in health centers of 6 municipalities. Training sessions and workshops in all municipalities completed and TELP implemented first in Gerona, Tarlac.

2012-2013: Partnership with Adarna Group Foundation, Raya School and local government units in underserved low income communities to implement the Foundation’s flagship initiative, “Unang Aklat (First Book)”, and promote early literacy through workshops in local health centers and distribution by the Foundation of age and culturally appropriate books to children 6 months to 3 years. Started in Samal, Bataan and Pakil, Laguna.

*PAPA leadership team visited areas of Tacloban City and Cebu in the aftermath of the massive devastation caused by Superstorm Haiyan (aka Typhoon Yolanda) that occurred on November 8, 2013. Team members read to families and gave books to children temporarily housed in tents, shelters, schools and churches.

*ROR integrated in Community Pediatrics program of The Medical City in Barangay Ilugin Community Center.                   

2014-2015: Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Station Hospital granted funds to purchase books and integrate ROR in outpatient clinic services.

*ROR implemented in Tondo Medical Center pediatric services

*Follow-up visit to Tacloban City to interview parents and children to determine how books and reading helped to support them after the disaster caused by Superstorm Haiyan.

*Bulacan chapter chose ROR as its advocacy project and with RORP funds, implemented a modified model in Bethany Orphanage to purchase books for children 0-2 years old awaiting adoption.

2016-2017: Heart of Mary Villa: a home for children 0-2 years old for adoption, where private funds were donated to purchase books to read and give to the children.

*Milestones of Early Literacy Development included in the Pediatric Preventive Health Care Handbook published by the Philippine Pediatric Society.

*Inclusion of ROR in curriculum of LU3t and LU5 medical students who are volunteer readers at PGH outpatient clinic.

*ROR program integrated in the SOP of V. Luna General Hospital Department of Pediatrics; regular orientation and training of new personnel and staff from other health facilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Specific funds for ROR at VLGH allocated in hospital’s annual budget.

*Developmental assessments of ROR enrollees every 6 months at Ilugin Community Center done by The Medical City pediatric residents and training of community volunteers.

*ROR program at USTH Clinical Division transferred to Gawad Kalinga community project in Baseco, Tondo.  Renovation of facility undertaken by ROR team and a mini library started for children in the community.

CANVAS (Center for Arts, New Ventures and Sustainable Development) conducted activities at PCMC that included storytelling, reading and giving books to children in outpatient clinics.

*PAPA 21st annual convention in Cebu City conducted a workshop on “Promoting Early Literacy: The Role of the Primary Care Pediatrician”. Another presentation was given at the Waterfront Hotel, organized by the Cebu Chapter and attended by 47 pediatricians from Cebu and Bohol.

*Community outreach program with ROR started by Tondo Medical Center in Barangay 147, Zone 13.   

*Developmental assessments done on children between 7 months and 3 years old in Bethany Orphanage, advocacy project of Bulacan chapter.


2017-2018: UNICEF grant to PAPA on “Implementation of Reaching Every Purok (REP) Strategy to Reduce Inequities in Immunization in the Highly Urbanized Communities of Manila City and Taguig City”.  Workshops and orientation/training sessions on ROR given to staff of health care centers. Board books in Filipino and Filipino/English were distributed as incentives to children 0-2 years old in centers and health stations with low immunization rates against measles.

2018-2019: Wyeth Philippines funded PAPA/RORP for a project on The First 1000 Days of Life, to expand and sustain early literacy promotion in the Philippines with the Reach Out and Read model.

*Trained volunteer staff to read to homeless children of marginalized families who receive services in a local center run by a religious organization.

*Providing consultation to Adarna Group Foundation series on The Eager Reader, with book recommendations for children from infancy to 5 years of age, based on ROR recommendations and Milestones of Early Literacy Development. 


2007-2009: PAPA Annual Convention, Reach Out and Read: Integrating Early Literacy Promotion in Pediatric Practice. Plenary speaker was Dr. Perri Klass.

*8th ROR National Conference on Early Literacy and Pediatrics, Toronto, Canada Plenary Session: Promoting Early Pediatric Literacy in a Developing Country: Reach Out and Read Philippines.

2010-2012: Rotary International District 3780, 2nd Literacy Congress on Strengthening Public-Private Partnership in Literacy, Quezon City.

*Manila International Book Fair, Emergent Literacy

*Post-graduate Course at Gallares Hospital Dept. of Pediatrics in cooperation with Bohol Child Health Care Advocacy (BCHCA): Nurture to Nature: As the Child Explores the Outside World

2014-2016: Asia-Pacific Regional Early Childhood Development Conference, Manila: Early Childhood Development on the Global Agenda: Building Partnerships For Sustainability and Harmony.  RORP: Partnerships for Early Literacy Promotion in Health Care Settings: The Philippine Experience.

*American Academy of Pediatrics Annual NCE, San Francisco, USA, Section on International Child Health Implementation Challenges for Reach Out and Read in the Philippines

2017-2018: The Eager Reader, The Early Literate Child

*Wyeth Nutrition Asia-Pacific Rim Regional Summit, The Science of Early: Why Early Moments Matter, Reach Out and Read: An Early Literacy Intervention Program

*Ako Para Sa Bata International Conference, Manila: The Science and Art of Parenting Children Today Early Literacy: The Reach Out and Read Program

*The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival.

 *9th Philippine International Literary Festival, sponsored by the National Board for Book Development and Cultural Center of the Philippines: Promoting Language and Literacy Development Through the Health Care System.       


2014: Evaluation of a Hospital-based Early Literacy Program Using the Reach Out And Read Medical Providers’ Survey in a Tertiary Medical Center for Children

Philippine Children’s Medical Center

2013: The Effects of a Clinic-Based Literacy Program on the Child-Centered Literacy Orientation of Middle Income Class Families: A Pilot Study

Veterans Memorial Hospital of the AFPMC

American Academy of Pediatrics NCE 2013 Poster Presentation

2015: Promoting Early Literacy in the Community of Ilugin Through the Reach Out and Read Program

The Medical City and Ilugin Community Center

Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Conference 2015 Poster Presentation

2017:   Strengthening Community Outreach Services Through an Innovative Newborn To Early Childhood Home Visitation Program

Philippine Children’s Medical Center

American Academy of Pediatrics NCE 2017 Poster Presentation

Effects of a Community-based Reach Out and Read Program Among Low Income Urban Families with Young Children

The Medical City and Ilugin Community Center

American Academy of Pediatrics NCE 2017 Poster Presentation

This abstract was published in PEDIATRICS, May 2018, Vol.142, Meeting Abstracts


*Collaboration with publishers of children’s books to develop, print and distribute culturally and developmentally appropriate board books in Filipino and Filipino/English.

*Translation and printing of RORNC Milestones of Early Literacy Development in Filipino and distribution to pediatricians and other health care providers.

*Partnership with Adarna Group Foundation to promote early literacy and bring the message of ROR to very low income communities in collaboration with local government units.

*Encouraged and promoted the use of culturally and developmentally appropriate books in Filipino and Filipino/English. (Save the Children uses the board books printed by the two local publishers in its community programs. Basa Filipinas, a USAID-funded program of the Department of Education also uses these books to improve the literacy skills of children in public schools from kindergarten to third grade)

*Five studies from different ROR programs have demonstrated the initial impact of ROR and we encourage the sites to continue research on how the different applications of the model can help underprivileged children be better prepared to read and learn.

*ROR now in five (5) hospital-based sites (V. Luna General Hospital of the AFPMC, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Tondo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital and Cebu Velez General Hospital), and in two (2) community-based sites (The Medical City/Ilugin Community Center and Gawad Kalinga Baseco House/ University of Santo Tomas Hospital).

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