Blogger Claudia Wayland

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
mom reads 1” by popofatticus is licensed under CC by 2.0

I am happy to announce that my public library will be rolling out our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program in January 2016! Allison, one of our Youth Services Librarians, has been hard at work this fall planning the details and creating print pieces for our upcoming soft launch.

Have you heard of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program? It’s a program in which preschool children (with their caregivers) register either in a library or online to attempt to read at least 1,000 books before the child enters Kindergarten. The caregivers keep track of the books they read with the child, and at certain milestones the child earns prizes. Once the child has read 1,000 books, they’ve completed the program and receive great accolades, in addition to all the benefits of being exposed to a variety of children’s literature. Of course it doesn’t necessarily have to be 1,000 different books; we all know that children enjoy reading the same books over and over.

This program goes hand-in-hand with reading aloud 15 minutes per day and supports both Every Child Ready to Read and Babies Need Words Every Day. There’s no best or correct way to implement the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program; it can be customized to fit any budget, for unlimited number of participants, and can go on indefinitely.

Upon first hearing about the program, the number 1,000 may seem quite large. How can children possibly read 1,000 books before Kindergarten? It’s actually quite simple. If a child reads 1 book each day, the 1,000-book goal can be met in less than three years. Increasing the reading to three books per day would mean that the child completes the 1,000 books in less than a year. While it seems daunting, the goal is attainable. Any reading counts, including books shared in story times.

Ready to learn more about this program? Here are some resources that you might find useful in deciding whether or not this is a good fit for your library and your community.

What do you think about this kind of program? Have you tried it at your library? Are there any last minute tips you want to share before we launch our program next month?


  1. Maggie V

    My coworker rolled this out during the fall. We started with a couple announcements at our regular storytimes and then did one-on-one talks with parents/caregivers we didn’t see during storytimes. The parents have been very excited and we seem to have more younger children (babies/toddlers) than preschool. We give out a small prize every 50 books and then their name (on a sea animal) “swims” through an ocean every 100 books. Good luck!

  2. Krys

    This sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to read about the outcome and how well it went in the future 🙂
    – Krys

  3. Pingback: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Update - ALSC BlogALSC Blog

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