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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

A Book Challenge for Our Littlest Library Friends

Children who are exposed to lots of books early in life have a leg up once they start kindergarten. 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a fun way for families to keep a strong focus on books right from the start! The idea is very simple: Read with your little one and try to reach the goal of 1000 books before they start kindergarten.

1000 Books before Kindergarten logo -- colorful castle and sun opened as a pop up from within pages of a book

Henrico County Public Library has all the tools you need to keep track and reach this goal. This program is sponsored by Friends of the Library.

Participate entirely online or contact your local HCPL branch to pick up a paper tracking sheet. You can also print your log and tracking sheets at home. If you prefer to track your books on a mobile device, download the free Beanstack Tracker app: iOS / Android.

As you meet different milestones, you will earn exciting rewards:

  • 100 books: Reading Log
  • 200 books: Library Tote Bag
  • 500 books: Free Book
  • 1,000 books: Certificate of Completion and Magnetic Picture Frame
  • Earn cool digital badges for every 100 books you read. If you choose to play using a paper Reading Log, you can collect stickers!

About 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 books sounds like a lot. How is it even possible to read that many before kindergarten?
It is a challenge, but not impossible. If you read one book a day, you can finish in less than three years. If you read three books a day, you can finish in less than one year.<
Do we have to read 1,000 different books?
Repetition is very important for young children. You are more than welcome to read the same book over and over and count it every single time.
Do parents/caregivers need to do all the reading?
You can count books read by anyone. When children see different people read books it drives home the message that reading is important to everyone. We encourage you to enlist the help of family and friends. You can also attend a library storytime or call Storyline to get some new books to count.
How do I find books that are just right for my child?
We have some great librarian-curated booklists on our Kids Page! We also encourage you to fill out a My Next Read: Kids form to receive a personalized list specifically selected for your child.
What happens after we're done?
Keep up the good work! Hopefully you've established a routine and made reading a family habit. We encourage you to celebrate the incredible milestone in a way that is meaningful to you and your family. Once your child starts Kindergarten make sure to let their teacher know that they've read 1,000 books before kindergarten!
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