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1000 Books Before Kindergarten 

About the program

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program designed for you and your children ages 0-5. The goal is to read 1,000 books to your child before they enter kindergarten! Reading to children stimulates imagination, helps caregivers and children bond, and forms good habits. By reading together daily, you are establishing a routine that could last a lifetime!

The concept is simple, and the reward is priceless!

  • Read a book to your child. 
  • Track the books. 
  • The goal is to read 1,000 books before they go into kindergarten. You can even read the same book multiple times!

Does reading 1,000 books seem hard? Don't worry! You have plenty of time.

  • If you read one book per night for three years, you will have read 1,095 books. 
  • If you read three books a day, you will reach 1,000 books in less than a year. Get started now! 

Multiple studies have shown that children who are well read are more likely to succeed in school, but it has also been shown that as many as one in five children have difficulties learning to read. You can help your child succeed! 

  • Formal education does not begin until ages five or six. 
  • Reading with your child is a bonding experience that will last a lifetime. 
  • Making a point to read 1,000 books is a simple and manageable way to help create a lifetime of good habits. 

   

How it works

  • Sign up by stopping by the preschool desk in the children's library. Our staff will be available to answer your questions and give you some prizes for signing up!
  • Log every book you read in our program booklet. 
  • For every 100 books that you read to your child, come to the preschool desk to get a prize.  
  • For every 500 books your child reads, they will receive a special prize. 
  • Read 1,000 books with your child before they reach kindergarten.

 

Tips for reading with babies and toddlers

  • Find a comfy place to read and snuggle up.

This will help your child feel safe and secure. 

  • If you can, turn off all screens while you are reading. 

Creating an environment with fewer distractions makes it easier for you both to have a fun time reading!

  • Encourage them to take part in the reading process. 

Let your child help you turn the page! Ask them questions about the pictures and talk through the story as you read it. 

  • Choose books that your child will like.

Baby and toddler friendly books usually have bright colors and bold words, and are often made of durable cardboard, soft material, or soft plastic so they can withstand a baby playing with them. 

  • Develop a daily reading routine.

For example, always read before snack time or before your child takes a nap. Routines help young children feel secure because they are able to predict what will happen next. 

  • If your child is not having fun, put the book down.

Reading should be fun! If your child is not in the mood for reading, do not be afraid to put the book down and try again later.

  • Ask your child to pick out the book that you will read to them.

This will get them more excited about reading time! 

  • Most importantly, have fun!

There is no wrong way to read a book to your child! And have realistic expectations based on your child's age – your toddler's way of "listening" might be climbing all over you while you read! 

   

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in this program?

Any child is eligible to participate until they enter kindergarten. Yes, even babies!


How long will it take to finish?

It is self-paced so it can take a few months to a couple of years to complete – whatever works best with your schedule.  


How many of my children can participate?

Any child who has not started kindergarten can participate. You can even have fun and read together as a family! 


Can I complete this program more than once?

Sure! The benefits of 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten change and grow depending on the age of your child. You are welcome to complete it more than once, but we ask that you not do it more than once a year so we can continue to give out prizes. 


Is there an ideal age?

It is up to you! The benefits of this program change and grow depending on the age of your child. Young babies and toddlers love being read to and will develop a love for reading through the daily routine. Preschool children will be motivated by seeing how many books they have read and will understand that reading 1,000 books is a big deal! They also get more excited about the prizes than babies and toddlers. Some parents enjoy keeping track of reading through our workbook while others would prefer to wait until a child is older and can engage more in the process. 


Can I count the books I reread to my child?

Yes! We know that children find comfort in hearing the same story again and again, so please feel free to count the books you read multiple times to your child! 


Do I have to read a physical book to my child, or do audiobooks and eBooks also count?

Every and any book counts in this program! Audiobooks, eBooks, books in different languages, or books that someone else reads to your child all count towards your 1,000 book goal! 


Can I count the books I read to my child that are in a language other than English?

Yes, every book counts, including those that are not in English! Reading books in the child’s native language will build strong pre-literacy skills. 

 

Additional Resources 


Tips for reading to babies: 

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-tips-parents-babies 

En español: https://www.readingrockets.org/content/pdfs/tips/Spanish-CC_tips_babies.pdf

Also available in nine additional languages at the link above. 

 

Tips for reading to toddlers: 

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-tips-parents-toddlers 

En español: https://www.readingrockets.org/content/pdfs/tips/Spanish-CC_tips_toddlers.pdf

Also available in nine additional languages at the link above. 

 

Why does reading aloud matter? 

https://www.readingrockets.org/reading-topics/reading-aloud 

 

Reading recommendations:

https://www.readingrockets.org/books/booksbytheme

https://www.nypl.org/books-more/recommendations/125/kids