1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

March 8, 2021 | By: Communications Staff

Literacy skills begin to develop at birth, long before a child actually learns to read, and it is never too early to give a child experiences with books and stories. The St. Joseph County Public Library now offers the program 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, which gives caregivers the resources and support to better prepare their children for school. Beginning in March, parents and caregivers can register for this free program at any SJCPL location. More information is available online here.

Reading is one of the most important gifts a parent can give to their child. It is a simple act that has an incredible impact on a child’s developing brain.

  • Early literacy develops naturally through the enjoyment and interaction that occurs while sharing a book together.
  • Reading together fosters a strong parent-child bond that can have a positive emotional and physical influence on the entire family.
  • Children that are read to several times a week are more likely to recognize letters, develop word-sight recognition, and understand words in context.

The program is designed to be simple and flexible. 1,000 books may seem like a lot, but by reading only 1 book a night before bed, it is possible to read over 1,000 books in 3 years. Parents and caregivers can select any book and can read the same book repeatedly. The program is self-paced, and SJCPL librarians are available to provide suggestions on how to meet the goal. Children are celebrated and earn rewards throughout the program to keep the family motivated.

This nationwide program is a fun and simple way to establish strong literacy skills and to instill the confidence needed for a child to become a strong reader. Reading ability is an early indicator of overall success in school, which can have ramifications for the rest of the child’s life. For the first formative years of a child’s life, from the ages of 0-5, parents and other caregivers are the primary educators. This program gives parents the tools and support they need to make reading part of their daily routine.

Participation is easy:

  • Register: Sign up at any SJCPL location and receive program materials.
  • Track Your Reading: Record your child’s progress with a reading log.
  • Every Book Counts: Even if your child wants to hear the same book again and again, you can count it each time. You can also count the books your child hears in storytime, in daycare or preschool, or with a friend or family member, as long as your child listens to the entire book.
  • Reach Milestones: Each time you read 100 books, drop by the library to receive a special reward.  
  • Keep on Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000! Keep on reading together; there’s more learning ahead!

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