We’re kicking off a new program here at the library to encourage early literacy. The name of the program is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. You guessed it! We are encouraging parents and caregivers to read to young children. Read OFTEN to young children. Listen to books together. Look at books together. Make a habit of reading every day.
If you’re reading this web page, you are probably one of those people who likes libraries and already thinks that reading is important. You might even have read Goodnight Moon (or your child’s favorite book) 1000 times in the past week. So why is this program important?
1000 Books Before Kindergarten helps parents set goals, and work together with their children to meet them. It reinforces the parent’s message that reading is important. Kids don’t need to know that they are boosting their vocabulary and early literacy skills. They just need to know that reading is fun, and that they should do lots of it. And if they get some cool prizes and recognition along the way, that just adds to the fun!
So, if you have a child or children who has not yet started kindergarten, stop by the library to sign them up. We’ll take their photo so that they can put it in their own little passport to get their journey started. Every 100 books along the journey, we’ll congratulate them at the library with a little incentive. And once a year, we’ll host a graduation ceremony to recognize all the children who completed the program during the year.
Go ahead and read that favorite book 1000 times tonight…or pick a nice variety of books over the next few years. If you read 3 books a night, you can complete the program in one year. If you read just 1 book a day, you will still be done in only three years. Before you know it, your little one will be off to kindergarten. And you will have given him or her a great head start and the amazing gift of a lifetime love of reading.