1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge

We invite you to participate in this free program which encourages you to read 1,000 books with your child before he or she starts kindergarten.


Read a book (any book) with your little one. The goal is to read 1,000 books before your reader starts kindergarten. If you read just one book a night, you will read 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years.

  • Kindergarten children who are read to at least three times a week have a significantly greater phonemic awareness than children who are read to less often.
  • Reading strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development as well as decreasing levels of aggression, hyperactivity, and attention difficulties.

“When parents read with their children more… they learn to use words to describe feelings that are otherwise difficult and this enables them to better control their behavior when they have challenging feelings like anger or sadness.”

(Source: PBS – Why Reading Aloud to Kids Helps Them Thrive).

The key is perseverance. Make it fun. Here at the library, we will have a prize for each 100 books read!


  • Read with your child!
  • Keep track of the books you read with your child on our convenient reading log sheet or our Beanstack online reading log. For each 100 books, you can list your top 10 titles!
  • Bring your reading log to your local branch for prizes.

Looking for suggestions on what to read with your child? Here’s a curated list from our librarians: https://www.hoopladigital.com/collection/6235


  • Who can participate in this program? Any child from birth until they enter kindergarten.
  • How long will the program take? The program will take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self‐paced and will depend on how often you read together.
  • How many of my children can participate? All of them (provided they have not yet started kindergarten). Make it even more fun and read as a family!
  • What type of reading counts? All types! Keep a record of any book that is being read to your child. This includes teachers, siblings, audiobooks, relatives, and library story times!

If you have questions, please feel free to contact: Youth Program Coordinator, Jackie Anderson (janderson@jclibrary.org) or our Outreach Coordinator, Mandy Decker (mdecker@jclibrary.org).

Please be advised that Priscilla Gardner Main Library will be closing at 5pm today, April 11th, 2024.