This is a passive, individual program that parents can sign up for any time before a child enters Kindergarten. The goal is to read 1000 books together before your child starts Kindergarten. You do need to sign up to participate and be eligible for prizes.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic crisis, the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is moving online. We are using our online platform, Beanstack, to allow you to digitally manage all of your reading. This program will award digital badges as you log books you have read.
There is a paper option, linked at the bottom of this page for those who would prefer to keep track on paper instead of being part of a digital program. No matter how you keep track of books, you earn prizes the same way - by hitting milestones in your reading journey. If you earn any prizes, please stop in a the children's desk once we reopen to claim your free books and award certificate.
Why 1000 Books? What is the point of all of this?
Research shows that kids who read or are read to for about 15 to 20 minutes a day will be much more prepared to start school than those who are not. Additionally, that reading time helps by drastically improving kids’ vocabularies, reading readiness, and attitudes toward reading and learning. If you do that math, reading for the prescribed time will give you about 2 to 3 picture books every night, and if you do that for a year, it comes out to around 1000 books. That is where we get our goal of 1000.
Can I really expect to read 1000 books to my child before Kindergarten?
Absolutely! It is easier than you think. If you only read one book per night, in 3 years you would have already read 1,095 books! If you read 10 books per week, it would only take 2 years to read 1,040 books. If you read 3 books every day, you can reach this goal in under a year!
How many books do I need to read each day to hit my goal?
Depending on when your child will enter Kindergarten, you may need to read as many as 6 or 7. If you read one book every day, you will reach your goal in approximately 2 years and 9 months. If you read 2 books every night, you will hit 1000 in a little bit less than 1 year and 5 months. If you read 3 books every day, you will hit your goal in approximately 11 months. If you read 4 books a day, your goal will take just over 8 months. If you read 5 or more books every single day, you can read 1000 books in 6 months or less!!
I read the same story to my child every night! Does this only count as one book?
You can count that same book EVERY TIME you read it. In fact, when we read familiar stories again and again, we are helping our children to connect writing with words they know, to build narrative skills, and to recognize how books work to tell us stories.
Who can participate in the program?
1000 Books Before Kindergarten is open to any child from birth until the day before they enter Kindergarten. Once they start Kindergarten, they are no longer eligible to receive prizes.
How does the program work?
You need to sign up at the children’s desk to get registered. When you sign up, you will receive a bag with the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten logo on it and a record sheet for your first 100 books. When you complete each sheet, bring it back in to get a sticker and your next record sheet. When you reach 500 books, you will receive a small prize, and when you reach 1000 books, you will get a free book and a completion certificate.
What do I get out of the program?
We do have a free bag for you upon registration and there are a couple of very nice prizes along the way, but the real prize for you and for your child is the time spent reading together knowing that you are giving them the best shot at being ready to begin school.
Can I count books that are read at daycare, preschool or storytimes?
Yes! You can count any books that are read to your child. You can count books read by siblings, grandparents, friends, babysitters, or anyone who spends time reading with your child.
I have more than one child that I read to. Can I count the same title for multiple children?
Of course. Reading together not only counts for this program but also promotes togetherness and sharing literacy. If you read as a family, count that book for every child participating in the program.
What about audiobooks?
You can count those, too. Any book that you read or listen to together can count, as long as the child listens to the entire story.
Do I have to read books from the library?
No. Any books you have at home or that you have access to through preschool, daycare, or even a family member all count.
If you are not already registered for this program, click here.