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1000 Books Before Kindergarten


1000 Books Before Kindergarten is an early literacy program offered by the Library to promote reading to newborns, infants and toddlers.

Designed for children from birth to age five, this program helps children develop the tools they need to become proficient readers and encourages parent and child bonding through the activity of reading together.


The goal is to read 1000 books with your child before the child reaches kindergarten age. Incentives for parents and children will be provided along the way!

With the support of this program, we hope that you and your child will develop a love of reading, an appreciation for the library and discover the joy in reading together.

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1000 books

Welcome to the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge!  This program encourages you to spend time with your little one reading books and setting up the ground work for them to be successful in school.

Through reading, enjoying and talking about books you can help your child develop important skills that will stimulate brain growth that will set the foundations, and hopefully excitement, that will encourage your child to read on their own.  It is also a great way to share some quality time with your child and make some special memories.

Here are the steps you need to know to participate:

1.    Read.  Any book, every book, the same book over and over.  If it is you reading, a family member reading, or a book that is listened to during story time; any book that is read start to finish counts.
2.    Color in an object for each book read on your log sheet.  If you re-read a book, you can count it each time.  There is a space to write down some favorite titles also.
3.    Once you complete the sheet of 100 books, bring it to the library to receive a reward for your accomplishment.  You will also get your next sheet of 100 books to work on.
4.    Keep doing steps 1-3 until you have finished all 10 sheets.
5.    When you are finished with all of your sheets come into the library to receive a special reward for your successful reading accomplishments.

There is no end date to this program other than when your child enters Kindergarten, so don't feel rushed!

If you read three books a day you'll have read 1095 books in a year or read one book a day will get you to 1095 in three years.  Make this about more than just reading a book.  Talk about the stories, the pictures, and explore the new worlds that books can offer.

The library isn't only a great place to READ, is can also be a great place to LEARN and GROW.

Why 1000 books before kindergarten?

Reading and interacting over books at a young age is setting up the building blocks for children when they start school.  Reading out loud helps children develop vocabulary, pronunciation and a familiarity with books that makes children more comfortable and prepared to read on their own.

With each sheet you turn in you and your child can feel the satisfaction and excitement that you accomplished something.  The prizes along the way help too.  Getting your child excited about reading is half the battle to getting them reading on their own.

What else can I do to help my child begin learning?

To give you some ideas that will help with your child's development, we have included some activities for you and your child to do together.  In addition to this you can pick up an early literacy calendar with even more great ideas from the library.


s Before Kindergarten

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How many books will you read to your child before Kindergarten?   Take the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge and see  how quickly they add up!

Your child can still participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge while the library is closed.

Who can participate? 
Any child who has not yet entered Kindergarten can sign up for the program.
How can we get started?
If you have already registered in person at the library, continue to fill in your reading logs.
Download logs here:    
If you have not yet registered, you can register online.
All of these resources found on our E-books & More page have books for kids:
    Cloud Library 
    Fiction, nonfiction, picture books, easy readers
    Fiction, nonfiction, picture books, easy readers
    Smart Apple 
    Nonfiction picture books and easy readers
    Nonfiction picture books
Each time you read with your child, record the book in your log.  Books may be read and recorded more than once and repetition is a great way to learn, so don't worry if your child has a favorite that you read over and over!   
When the library reopens, bring your log(s) to the library.  Your child will receive a sticker for each 100-book milestone and a sheet on which to place the stickers.
Milestone Rewards
100 - 400 books:  sticker each time you reach the next level of 100
500 books:  sticker and small prize
600 - 900 books:  sticker each time you reach the next level of 100
1,000 books:   sticker and book
How long will it take to complete the program?
You will complete the program at your own pace.  If you read one book per day, you will complete the program in less than three years. If you read three books per day, you will complete the program in less than one year.

Click here for 100 Books for Suggested Reading

1000 Books Before Kindergarten® is a registered trademark of the 1000 Books Foundation, used with permission.

Connecting, enriching, and supporting the community since 1937

W.H. Walters Free Public Library
1001 East Blvd.
Alpha, N.J. 08865