1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Did you know that reading to your child is one of the most powerful ways to boost his or her brain power? The simple act of sharing books helps your child learn pre-reading skills such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a larger vocabulary, and building background knowledge – all important skills that help prepare your child for learning to read and entering kindergarten. And, perhaps most importantly, it is fun!

Program Overview
The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless. Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, and/or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books together before your precious one starts kindergarten. Does it sound hard? It doesn’t have to be. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years old, you have more time than you think (so get started!). There are no deadlines to complete the program and you can register at any time!

How to Participate
Go to McBride Memorial Library to register and pick up program materials.

  • Read with your child. Studies have shown that reading with your child provides a great opportunity for bonding. Reading together is fun and will create life-long memories for the both of you.
  • Keep track of the books you read with your child. Make a record of your reading by coloring in a train car on your reading log for each book you read with your child.
  • You may also choose to record books read with our Read Squared program or with the official 1000 Books Before Kindergarten app (available with Android or Apple devices).
  • If you are able to, make a record on your log for each and every book that is being read to your child. This includes those being read by teachers, siblings, and grandparents.
  • Each time you read 100 books, bring your completed reading log to the Children’s Desk at the library to receive a small prize and your next reading log. There will be special rewards along the way;
  • Read 1000 books! When your child reads 1000 books they will receive a special certificate and free book, and will be invited to a special ‘graduation’ party to celebrate their wonderful achievement!

While one thousand books may seem like a lot, remember that if you read just one book a night, you’ll meet your goal in less than three years; if you read three books a night, you could reach your goal in just one year! Most importantly, reading 1000 books with your child is an opportunity to share a wonderful bonding experience with your child and help them to begin kindergarten confident and proud of themselves.

Please speak with our friendly staff if you have any questions or would like book suggestions – we’re here to help your child and you on your journey to 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Happy Reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can participate in this program?

A: Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten can participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Q: How long will the program take?

A: It depends – the program can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together.

Q: Do books read more than once count more than once?

A: Yes. Every individual time your read a book, even the same book multiple times in a row, counts as another book on the log. Repetition helps children to recognize words, become aware of patterns and rhythms, and grow in comprehension and confidence.

Q: Do books read at McBride storytimes count towards the reading log?

A: Yes! Any book read to your child by anyone counts towards the log. Library storytimes, preschool and daycare readings, even books read by babysitters and other caregivers count. If your child hears the whole book, it counts.

Q: Do books have to be read in English?

A: Not necessarily. Books in other languages can also count towards the reading log. If your family speaks a language other than English at home, reading your child books in those languages is very important for developing their language skills. Books with a few non-English words are also great to read aloud to your child, as they can increase your child’s phonological awareness, or ability to recognize different sounds as the building blocks of words.