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1000 Books Before Kindergarten programs foster early literacy skills

Posted on September 24, 2020 at 6:00 am


We’re starting a new online reading challenge for parents and caregivers of young children in October. You can track the books you’re reading as your child grows!

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is designed to foster early literacy skills during the time period in a child’s development where the brain develops most rapidly.

Reading to and with your baby, toddler, and preschooler builds vocabulary skills, reading comprehension, narrative skills, letter knowledge, and an enjoyment of books. In addition, reading together encourages and establishes bonding between child and adult, which also promotes healthy brain development.

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is for children from birth to five years old. So yes, you can start reading to your newborn!

While reading 1000 books may seem daunting, just reading one book a day means you’ll have met this goal in less than 3 years.

If finding 1000 books seems overwhelming, the library has you covered. You can browse and place holds on titles in our sizeable collection of picture books. Or have our staff choose books for you using our Book Butler service.

What’s great about this program is that you can read any book, and yes, you can repeat them. It also counts if a sibling, grandparent, or teacher reads to your child.

I wish you joyful adventures as you head on this reading journey with your little ones.


1000 Books Before Kindergarten Online Reading Challenge

Earn badges as you make your way towards 1000 books. We’ve also included badges for some fun activities that encourage language development. Upon completion, you’ll get a certificate that celebrates your reading achievement of 1000 books.

Top reasons to read 1000 books before kindergarten to your child:

  • A child’s brain develops most rapidly from age 0 to 5, soaking up knowledge like a sponge!
  • Reading is a great way to establish strong early literacy skills. 
  • Reading together is a great way to bond with your little one. 

You can read any book that you want and however many times you or your child wants. Repetition is one way young children learn.

This reading challenge is ongoing, so you can start today!

Register or log in at and select the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge to get started.

Mary Ellen Braks

Mary Ellen Braks is a librarian and the Public Services Manager in charge of Early Learning for children, from birth to age 8, for the Spokane County Library District and has been working in libraries for 30 years. She has a Masters in Library Science from Simmons College and has worked as the Head of Children’s Services at the M.G. Parker Memorial Library in Massachusetts and as a Reference Librarian for children and teens at Longmont Public Library in Colorado. Before her library career started, Mary Ellen worked in child care and as a preschool teacher while completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts. Her current position is the perfect combination of her degrees and passions—children, books, and education.

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