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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Graphic with four pictures in it. A mom and child reading, a father and two children reading, a grandmother and toddler reading, and a Mom and daughter reading

Welcome to the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative, a program that encourages families and caregivers to read with their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers before they enter kindergarten. Studies show that regularly reading aloud to children helps strengthen their language skills, builds their vocabulary, and lays the groundwork for them to be successful readers on their own.

1000 books might sound like a lot, but they can add up quickly — for example, reading one book a day for three years, or three books a day for one year, adds up to 1,095 books!

There is no reading list for this program – any book, read by anyone, counts – your log can include books read at home, preschool, library storytimes, child care sites and so on.

How to Participate

To get started, come by the Children’s Department to get a paper reading log for your first 100 books (or download the reading log here). There is a new log sheet for every 100 books you read, and you can also track your reading on READsquared (or download the app on your mobile device).

Each time you have read 100 more books, come get some fun incentives for your child: a necklace brag tag and their name on our beautiful Readers’ Rainbow! If you’d like, we’ll also take a commemorative photo in front of the rainbow, and we’ll send you off with the log sheet for your next 100 books.

When you’ve reached 500 books, we’ll give you a free book — and when you’ve reached 1000, come see us for a “graduation” surprise!