1000 Books Before Kindergarten


Program Overview

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a free, nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their young children.

Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood. Reading with your child develops vocabulary, increases interest in printed words, and instills a positive attitude about reading. These skills are key in learning to read easily and successfully. Sharing books with your child from birth can prepare them to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading!

How It Works

  • Any child from birth to kindergarten is eligible.
  • Sign up at the library or by filling out the online registration form.
  • Pick up or download the reading log and color in one book for each title read.
  • After each 100 books read, bring your log to the library and receive a sticker.
  • After finishing 1000 books, your child will receive a free book, can attend a special graduation ceremony, and gain a jump-start on success in school!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I read 1000 books?

It's easier than you think! If you read just one book a night, you will read 365 books in one year, 730 books in two years, and 1095 books in three. If you consider most children start kindergarten around age five, you have more time than you think.

Do I have to read books from the Le Mars Public Library?

No, you can read books from anywhere—your home, the doctor's office, preschool, Grandma's house, even other libraries!

I read the same story every night to my child. Can I count that book more than once?

Yes! Repetition improves comprehension.

I have more than one child I read to. Can I count the same title for each child?

Of course!

Can I count books that are read during story time?

Absolutely! The librarian usually reads 3-4 books.

When I don't have time to read to my child, I sometimes let her listen to a book on CD. Can I add that to her list?

Sure! We also subscribe to an online collection of animated, talking picture books called Tumble Books. These also qualify to be added to your log and can be accessed from our website.

My older children like to read to their younger siblings. Can I count those books?

Count any books that are read to your child, no matter who reads the books. It can be a brother, sister, grandparent, babysitter, teacher, or other story teller! As long as they hear the entire story, you can count it.

Reading Log Downloads