You are here

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Reading Challenge

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Reading Challenge is an initiative designed to encourage parents to read with their children before they begin school. This exposure to reading and early literacy helps babies, toddlers, and preschoolers develop the skills that they will need to be successful in school. Additionally, it helps promote a lifelong love for books and provides a chance for you to bond with your child in a unique way.

How it Works

You may sign up your child for the challenge at the Youth Services Desk on the Upper Level. You will receive a folder that contains a reading log for you to begin keeping track of the number of books that you read with your child.  

Each time that you and your child finish both sides of one log sheet (100 books), you will return to the Youth Services Desk and receive a milestone sticker.  Your child's progress will also be kept on our Train-themed window display. He or she will have their name written on a paper train car along with all of the other children participating in the program. Every time you and your child read 100 books, a new sticker will be added to his or her train car.

After completing 1,000 books, your child will receive a book of their choice! (Note: Children who are beginning the program at ages four or five need only to read 300 books to qualify for the ending prize).

Start Reading!

There are many ways that you and your child can reach the goal of 1,000 books. 1,000 books may seem like a lot, but it comes out to about three readings per day for three years. Books that you read at home, hear with your child at storytime, or that he or she hears in preschool all count toward your goal. Repeat readings of favorite books and partial readings of books are acceptable as well!

If you're looking for suggestions for books to read, the Youth Services Department provides a number of reading lists sorted by topic.  These can be found online (which also include links to our ebook services and annual award lists) or in the Youth Services Department.

Reading Rockets, a website devoted to providing resources for early literacy, has Reading Tips for Parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  Printouts of these lists are available in the Youth Services Department.  Links to downloadable copies are also available below:

The website also includes other reading tips, including ones for parents of children with disabilities and ones that are available in different languages.

If you're looking for even more books and more ways for you to engage with your child in this very crucial stage of his or her learning, please ask a librarian at the Youth Services Desk on the Upper Level.  We are always available to help!