Reading to your child is one of the most powerful ways to boost their brain power. The simple and enjoyable act of sharing books helps your child learn pre-reading skills such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a larger vocabulary, and building background knowledge – all important skills that help prepare your child for entering kindergarten and learning to read.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is fun, exciting, and a free way to start your
child on the path to success. Any child, ages birth to six years, can participate. Just follow
these steps:

  1. Register: Pick up a 1,000 Books Badge Book from your local library. No paperwork or application needed.
  2. Track Your Reading: The badge book is full of fun stickers to track the books you read, and it serves as a keepsake.
  3. Extension Activities: The badge book contains activities like checking out a cook book to make a recipe together or learning how to use library materials to answer questions.
  4. Remember that Every Book Counts: Even if your child wants to hear the same book again and again! You can also count the books your child hears in story time, at daycare or preschool, or with a friend or family member.
  5. Earn Prizes: There are prizes to be earned at the 100, 500, and 1000 book steps. Let your local librarian know that you’ve hit those milestones.
  6. Feeling stuck? The badge book is full of book lists for a variety of ages and interest levels, or you can ask a library staff member for a suggestion!
  7. Keep Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000! Keep reading together; there’s more learning ahead. Feeling overwhelmed? 1,000 books may seem like a lot, but if you read just one book a day, you’ll meet your goal in less than 3 years. If you read 3 books a night, you could reach your goal in just one year!
  8. Want to earn more badges? Track your reading digitally at!

Happy Reading!