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1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Simple concept, priceless rewards! Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, or toddler. The goal is to read 1,000 books before your little one starts kindergarten around age five. If you read just one book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years, and 1,095 books in three years. A highly achievable goal with great results!

How Does it Work?

1. Read with Your Child

You can:

  • Read the same book over and over… and over again
  • Read in any language or format
  • Storytimes count as reading time
  • Books read by siblings, grandparents, or caregivers also count

Starter Titles (PDF, 155 KB)

Early Literacy Activity Calendar 2021 (PDF, 5,878 KB)

2. Keep Track of Progress

Download the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten app:

Or use our printable reading logs:

3. 100-Book Milestones

Contact the Library to celebrate every 100 books read with a progress picture in front of our 1,000-book ladder.

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Ask, Suggest, Request Form


4. Receive a Certificate

After reading 1,000 books, contact the Library to be awarded the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program Certificate and commemorate one of your child’s earliest accomplishments!

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Ask, Suggest, Request Form


Why Participate?

Studies have shown that families who start reading aloud to their children at birth help strengthen their language skills and build their vocabulary – two important tools when they begin learning to read in kindergarten. Giving your child rich experiences helps to build the basic architecture of their brain, which will give them an excellent start in school and beyond.

In addition to the educational benefits, reading together is wonderful for building memories and bonding!

  • Sharing books helps to build a love of reading, which will motivate your child to stick with it when learning to read becomes more of a challenge
  • Reading daily with your child builds vocabulary, an essential tool in the kits of strong readers
  • Accomplishing the goal of reading 1,000 books gives your child a sense of pride
  • Reading builds empathy and expands acceptance for a diversity of beliefs and lifestyles that may seem different from a child’s own lived experiences
  • Children explore colorful artwork and photographs in books, building visual literacy along with their knowledge of written and spoken language


You are your child’s first teacher. You are their best teacher.