1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

squirrelfamilyreadingThe 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program will help parents/caregivers prepare their children for kindergarten! Research has proven over and over again that children get ready to read years before they begin their formal education. You can help your child get ready to read by reading to them.

Getting Started

  1. Sign up for the program by visiting the Children’s Department of the library and picking up a folder.  Fill out the registration card and turn it in to a librarian.
  2. For every book you read, mark a space on your log.  You may count the same book more than once.
  3. Come back every time you have shared 100 books together and you will receive a prize and your next log.
  4. When you have finished 1,000 books we will place a book into our collection honoring your child. The book will have a special bookplate with your child’s name and his/her accomplishment. Your child will be the first one to check out their honor book and will be invited to a special graduation party in August of that year.


  • Have fun and enjoy this special time together!
  • When you read to your children, talk to them about the story and pictures. Sing songs and say nursery rhymes.
  • Learning depends on repetition so it is OK to read a story again and again (list a story every time you read it).
  • Introduce new stories so your child will hear as many new words and concepts as possible.
  • Never make reading a chore. Children learn best when they are in a good mood and the experience is pleasurable for both of you.

How long does it take to reach 1,000 books?

1 book each day for 3 years = 1,095 books

10 books per week for 2 years = 1,040 books

3 books per day for 1 year = 1,095 books

What Books Count?

  • Books read at Story Time
  • Books read more than once
  • Books from home, the library or another library
  • Audio books
  • Books read on an iPad, e-reader, or other electronic device
  • Books read by any family member, teacher, friend, babysitter, etc.Basic Literacy Logo

Why is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Important?

Learning to read begins before a child starts school. From the time they are infants, children learn language and other important skills that will help them read. Developing these early literacy skills makes it easier for children to read once they begin school. The Public Library Association and the Association of Library Services to Children, both divisions of the American Library Association, recognize the critical role of parents, caregivers, and librarians in this process.

Parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are their children’s first teachers and they can help develop strong pre-reading skills. Parents can help even very young children learn five early literacy skills that they must know before they can learn to read and have success at school.

These essential pre-reading skills are:

  • Phonological Awareness: hearing and playing with smaller sounds in words
  • Vocabulary: knowing the name of things, feelings, ideas, and concepts
  • Print Convention: noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow words on a page
  • Background Knowledge: learning things about your world
  • Letter Knowledge: knowing letters are different from each other, recognizing letters come together to form words, and recognizing letters everywhere.

Talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing are some simple activities you and your child can enjoy throughout the day as you spend time together. These activities will all strength your child’s pre-reading skills.