1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

What is 1,000 books before kindergarten?

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program started by the 1,000 Books Foundation. The goal of the program is simply for caregivers to read a book, any book to their child, with the goal of reading 1,000 before the child enters kindergarten. The objectives of the initiative are:

  • to promote reading to newborns, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • to encourage caregiver and child bonding through reading

For each child, the program will take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self-paced and how long it takes to complete will depend on how often a child is read to. If just one book is read a day, a child will complete about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. Since most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, the challenge is quite manageable.

Any child from birth until they enter kindergarten can participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Why are we doing 1,000 books before kindergarten?

Public school education typically begins at age 5 to 6, but studies show that earlier experiences and interactions are a key factor in a child’s brain development.

Early literacy skills have a lifelong impact on educational and occupational success and the most important predictor of school success is being read to at home during early childhood.

Both the process of the initiative (reading to children) and the outcome (increasing literacy and improving school success) fit perfectly into our mission to inspire lifelong learning for everyone in our community.

How do we do 1,000 books before kindergarten?

  1. Caregivers register their child for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge on Beanstack. Go to this page for sign up help (both desktop and mobile).
  2. Caregivers and child read together. All books count, including books read at storytime, and reading a book over and over counts over and over.
  3. Caregivers record the number of books read and listened to on a paper log (available at any CRRL branch's Children's area) and/or on Beanstack. They may record titles if they choose, that is optional.
  4. As children reach century milestones (100 books read, 200 books read, 300 books read, etc.) they earn rewards!


Back to Top