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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Learning to read begins long before a child starts Kindergarten.  Reading to your children is the best way to prepare them for Kindergarten!  Any child from birth to entering Kindergarten can participate in this self-paced early literary program at Mae S. Bruce Library.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

The goal is to share 1000 books together during these early childhood years.  Sharing a book can include singing a book together, talking about the pictures together, reading it cover to cover or any other way that works for you and your child.

Getting Started:

1.  Sign up in the children's department at the library and receive your first 1000 Books reading log, or download one here:  Reading Log or keep up with them online using Lit Keeper

2.  Record each book that you share together on the log.  Repetition is great for learning so feel free to record the same titles again and again.

3.  When you complete a log of 100 books, bring your sheet to the children's department for a 100 books sticker.

4.  Keep repeating this process; picking up book logs and turning them in to the children's department.

5.  When you reach 1000 books recorded, you will receive a book from the library and a certificate for completing the program.


Books your child should hear before Kindergarten

20 ways to raise a book-smart baby

Book List for 0–24 Month-olds

Book List for 2–3 Year-olds

Book List for 4–5 Year-olds

Coloring pages


1. 1,000 Books sounds like a lot. Can we really do it?

Yes, 1,000 books does sound like a lot and that’s why it’s a great goal to have. It’s good to remember that reading just a few books at a time over the 5 years from birth to Kindergarten will get you to that goal. If you read just 10 books each week for 2 years, you’d have read 1,040 books!

2. My child is already four years old. How can he/she still participate?

A child can start the program at any time between birth and starting Kindergarten. We will give your child a modified goal based on the age of the child when beginning the program. For example: a four year old should read 250 books in the year before Kindergarten. Of course you can still read to 1,000 books (or more!) if you’d like to!

3. Grandma, babysitter, etc., reads to my child. Does that still count?

Yes. The books shared between any caregiver and the child are what counts here. And when children are ready to read on their own, those books count too!

4. Does digital content (Tumblebooks, book apps or ebooks) count?

Yes, digital stories can be counted in the reading log. Some digital content is more of an activity or a game, rather than a story to be read. Activities and games are fun, but fall outside of the goals of this project.

5. My child doesn’t always listen to the whole book. Can I still count it?

Yes, of course. This is meant to be a fun project. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers have varying attention spans and not all books will interest all readers. Sharing books together in the early years is about connection, book awareness, vocabulary, and play. It’s ok to just talk about the pictures or move on before you get to the end of the book. Just be sure to share those books with your child, whichever way works for both of you. Check out WEBSITE for more tips on reading with your early learner and on selecting books for your young child.

6. My child likes to move. He/she won’t sit still for a book.

This is, of course, totally normal. Young children like to explore and play. Reading aloud while they are playing nearby still builds their literacy and vocabulary skills as they hear new words said aloud. Singing a book can also be a great way to engage a young mover in a book.


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