The Benefits of Reading 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Library District encourages parents and caregivers to commit to the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” challenge!

Reading 1,000 books with your child before he or she starts school is the focus of this fun program. Any child from birth until they enter kindergarten can join in! Because public formal education does not typically start until age five or six, parents and caregivers play a critical role as their child’s first teacher during those early years of birth through five. The “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” challenge is a simple endeavor. Just set aside dedicated time each day to read a book, any book (and yes, you can reread those favorite stories), to your newborn, infant, or toddler, toward the goal of reading 1,000 books together before kindergarten.

Research demonstrates that young children who are read to on a regular basis have an advantage when learning to read for themselves. Reading together builds closeness and early literacy skills, which are the foundations for school success.
Reading 1,000 books isn’t as hard as it might sound. If you read only one bedtime story every night for three years, you will have read 1,095 books. If you read just three books every day, you will have read 1,095 books in just one year!

Participating is easy! Here’s how:

• Ask about the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program at the Children’s Services desk in any library. Upon signing up, you will receive a welcome letter and your first reading log with spaces to write down your first 100 books.
• Then relax and enjoy that quiet time reading together. It’s fun and will create memories for you and your child to cherish!
• Write the titles of every book you share on the reading log. If you read a book more than once, you can record it every time. If you listen to a book in storytime, at preschool, or anywhere else, you can log those, too.
• When you finish 100 books, bring your completed reading log to the library to receive a small prize and your next reading log.
• After you finish 500 books, your child will receive a canvas book bag. (One bag per participating child.)
• After finishing 1,000 books, you will receive a book to keep, and your child will have a great start on a lifetime love of books and reading!
Check with library staff for ideas on great books to share and a schedule of library programs that are suitable for your child.

Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

Are You A Horse?

This Book Just Ate My Dog!

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

If You're A Monster and You Know It

It's Okay to Be Different

Warning: Do Not Open This Book!

I Stink!

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole