1000 Books Before Kindergarten


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 – and they’ll benefit for years to come! 1000 Books makes it fun to build a daily habit of reading.

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:

  • Build vocabulary
  • Become familiar with rich language patterns
  • 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)

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


When can we begin?

It is never too early to begin! You can start reading with your child from the day they are born until the day they begin kindergarten. Infants learn 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.

How do we get started?

Just follow these few steps:

  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, have your child's picture taken, and place it into their 1000 Book passport

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

How does it work?

Read & Log

  • Get some books! We have some great recommendations here and a staff-curated booklist on our catalog. Read with your child whenever and wherever you can.
  • Track your progress online through Beanstack, York County Libraries' reading challenge and logging platform. Available online and on mobile app.
    • New to Beanstack? Visit our Beanstack Tips & Tricks Page for details and tutorials!
    • Bonus: You can now log books and minutes read at the same time to complete multiple reading challenges at once! Watch the video here.

Reach Milestones

  • Read your first 100 books, then come to the library for your first passport stamp and more!
  • Return every hundred books for more passport stamps and special prizes at 500 and 1000 books.

Celebrate Achievements

  • Snap a picture with our achievement signs to share! Don't forget to tag your posts with #1000booksB4K and #YorkLibraries!
  • Attend an annual countywide celebration ceremony to celebrate reading 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!

How long will it take?

  • 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 your child hears it.

  • Multiple readings of the same book
  • eBooks, books on BookFLIX, and listening to audiobooks
  • Books read at any library Story Time

Annual Celebrations

What is the annual celebration? (Fall)

Our annual fall celebration honors the children who finished 1000 Books before Kindergarten that year. Finishers will receive an invitation to attend via email or phone call.

  • Please note: If your child finished 1000 Books before Kindergarten after the annual celebration for that year, don't worry; he or she will be invited to next year's celebration.
  • When is the annual celebration this year?

    The 2024 annual celebration will be held at Martin Library on September 13, 2024 at 6:00 PM.

  • Please note: The annual celebration is an invite-only event.
  • What is the deadline to participate in the annual celebration?

    All participants who have logged 1000 books or more in the Beanstack reading challenge by 11:59 PM on July 31, 2024 will be invited to this year's celebration!

    What is the Reading Journey Celebration? (Winter/Spring)

    The Reading Journey Celebration is an event held every March that celebrates the current and past participants of the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program! Families are invited to attend and recognize their Readers' wonderful accomplishment!

    When is the Reading Journey Celebration this year?

    The Reading Journey Celebration will be held on March 2, 2024.