1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 books before kindergarten header

Because you want to give your child a smart start…

What is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is simple: read 1000 books with your newborn, infant, toddler, or preschooler before they begin kindergarten. 1000 Books makes it fun to build a daily habit of reading with your child. Reach your reading goals and earn prizes. Read any three books a day with your child and you’re finished in less than one year!

How do we get started?

  1. Register your child for their own library card
  2. Register for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten on Beanstack
  3. Visit your local library to pick up your registration packet and have your child’s picture taken and placed into their 1000 Book passport

That’s it! You’re ready to start your reading adventure together!

We’re registered and we have our passport, now what?

  • Stock up on books! We have some great recommendations!
  • Read with your child whenever and wherever you can.
  • Track your progress online in Beanstack. For help with logging online, click here
  • Read your first 100 books, then come to the library for your first passport stamp and more! Return as you reach the 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 book milestones for more passport stamps.
  • Take a picture of your child at each milestone with our achievement signs to share your journey with friends and family!
    • Don’t forget to tag your posts with #1000booksB4K and #YorkLibraries!
  • Earn special prizes at the 500 and 1000 book milestones!
  • Attend an annual countywide graduation ceremony to celebrate reading 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Why read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten?

You are your child’s first teacher and your home is where your child begins to learn.

Did you know that in the first few years of life, your child builds more than 1 million new brain connections every second? 

Your baby’s brain is growing at an incredible rate! By reading aloud with your child, they:

  • Develop background knowledge about a variety of topics
  • Build vocabulary
  • Become familiar with rich language patterns
  • Develop familiarity with story structure
  • Acquire familiarity with reading
  • Identify reading as a pleasurable activity

(From Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child &; Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference During the Early Years by Susan Hall and Louisa Moats)

When can we start?

It is never too early to begin! You can start the game with your child from the day they are born until the day they begin kindergarten. We hold a graduation ceremony once a year in August for all the families who have completed the game since the previous August.

But my baby is too young for this.

Infants are already learning about language by listening to adults talk. By talking, reading stories and asking your baby lots of questions, you are building their vocabulary and letting them know that questions are invitations for a response.

By reading aloud with young children, you give your child a smart start:

According to Carolyn Cates, PhD at New York University’s School of Medicine, “research findings show that reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills.”

It’s never too early to begin reading with your baby. Cates’ research shows that reading books to children continues to boost vocabulary and reading skills years later.

From ‘Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes’ by Cates, et. al. (2017)

How long will it take to read 1000 books?

  • If you read three books a day with your child, you’ll finish in just one year.
  • Read two books a day with your child, you’ll finish in two years.
  • Read one book a day with your child, you’ll finish in three years.

What counts?

Everything! Every book you read counts every time you read it.