YCL recognized 88 children and their families for achieving the milestone of reading 1000 books during a recent celebration at Martin Library. Combined, the youngsters read over 97,000 books!
The event was part of York County Libraries 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program that encourages families to prepare their children for school by reading 1000 books together. YCL President Robert F. Lambert welcomed audience members to the fourth annual celebration, saying “I want to thank all of you – parents, grandparents, and caregivers – for working with your children to complete the task of reading 1000 books before Kindergarten.”
According to Robert, it is never too early to start reading to a child and reaching 1,000 books is achievable.
It can be done in as little as one year by reading three books a day. Families who want to take longer to complete the goal can do so. The key is developing a routine of reading together. Robert F. Lambert
The initiative is an offshoot of a national program by the same name. YCL added a unique spin when it started the program; creating a reading journey with passports and incentives to encourage York County families to read together. Children from the day they are born to the day they start kindergarten can participate. There is no cost, and all that is needed to sign up is a free York County Libraries card. Since the program’s launch in 2018, nearly 3,900 children have joined, cumulatively reading over 786,000 books and counting.
Why Reading Picture Books is Important
Hearing the rich language in children’s books helps prepare children for kindergarten and beyond according to YCL’s Youth Services Director Jaclyn Cassidy. On average, reading picture books to children exposes them to 50% more rare words than watching television or even having conversations.
I know that my daughter would not have learned the meaning of splendiferous without reading Fancy Nancy. The more words your child hears and the more stories they are exposed to, the better they can understand the world around them. Jaclyn Cassidy
Joining York County Libraries to recognize this year’s 1000 book achievers was acclaimed children’s author and literary agent Marie Lamba who encouraged the families to continue their reading journey together. Marie is the author of several young adult and picture books including A Day so Gray, Green Green: A Community Gardening Story co-authored with husband Baldev Lamba, Drawn, and Over My Head.
How does the program work?
Parents or caregivers can register their children for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at any of York County Libraries 13 locations during regular operating hours. During sign-up, children receive a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten passport and have their photo taken by staff to add to the passport. Families then track the books they read together and bring their passports to the library to get a stamp at each 100-book milestone. When participants finish reading 500 books and then the ultimate 1,000 books, they are awarded special reading incentives at their library. Families who read 1,000 books are invited to the annual ceremony to celebrate their children’s success. The program is free for all participants thanks to the support of the Richard S. & Ann B. Barshinger Family Foundation.