1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books badgeThe Concept Is Simple…

Read a book (any book) with your newborn, infant, toddler, or preschool-aged child. The goal is to read 1,000 books before your little one starts kindergarten.

Sound hard? It really isn’t if you think about it. If you read only 1 book per night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That’s 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years! If you consider that most children start kindergarten at about 5 years of age, you have more time than you think!

Or if your child is already nearing kindergarten age, this is still totally doable in as little as 15 minutes a day:

The average picture book takes just 5 minutes to read

– and –

3 books a day (just 15 minutes) for 1 year = 1,095 books!!!

The Rewards Are Priceless

Reading with children builds vocabulary and language skills, and it introduces them to a wide range of books and stories to spark their imaginations. Studies have shown that the earlier we read, sing, and speak to children, the earlier they have a desire to learn and the skills to do so. Starting early—before kindergarten—is key to a child’s success through their school years and into adulthood.

Plus, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten goes beyond helping children develop early literacy skills and prepare for kindergarten. Reading together is fun and will create lifelong memories. The whole family can get involved, and celebrating milestones can become a fun family bonding activity!

The key is perseverance, and BCPL will provide incentive prizes and regular celebrations of the child’s reading accomplishments to help participants remain excited and motivated to meet their goal.

How to Participate

  1. Keep track of the titles of the books that you read with your child. Participants are strongly encouraged to track their reading digitally for the full experience.
    • Register for the program through your child’s Beanstack account.
    • First time using Beanstack? No worries! It’s easy to sign up, whether you want to register an individual or the whole family. But if you need help, visit any BCPL location and a staff member will be happy to help get you started.
    • If you are unable to track your reading online, you may ask for a paper log at the Circulation Desk at any BCPL location.
  2. When your child reaches a new milestone, visit any BCPL location to share the good news, or send a photo to tweikel@bcplib.org!
    • When you track your reading digitally with Beanstack, a new badge will light up for each milestone reached. When the badge is activated, library staff will be alerted. Beginning with the 10 books milestone, your child can claim a prize to reward their achievement. If you are unable to track your progress digitally, you may show staff your print log instead. Rewards may be collected in the library during public-access hours, or you can call to schedule a Curbside Pickup.
    • We’d love to take a picture at major milestones to share your child’s accomplishment on BCPL social media! Photos may also be featured in our special 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten display designed to help children track their journey and feel proud of their success.

Book Counting Rules

  • Picture books count. E-books count. Audiobooks, read alongs, beginning readers, and early chapter books count. If you consider it a book—it counts.
  • Yes, you can repeat books! Every time you—or your friend or relative or anyone!—read a book with your child, it counts. Even if your little one wants to hear a favorite book over and over and over.
  • Don’t forget to count the books you listen to during Virtual Storytime, Storytime Yoga, Nite-Nite with Nichols, Dial-a-Story, or other special story events from the Library!
  • So, basically… There are no rules! If a book is read with your child, it counts. Every time.

Milestones, Prizes & More

  • Badges are awarded in Beanstack beginning with the first book! After the first book, children earn a prize for each milestone they reach. Rewards can now be collected inside the library during public-access hours or via Curbside Pickup.
    Milestone Rewards
      • 10 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 25 books = Coloring book
      • 50 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 100 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward + Treasure Chest prize
      • 150 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 200 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward
      • 250 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 300 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward
      • 350 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 400 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward
      • 450 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 500 books = Dairy Queen meal combo (coupon) + Treasure Chest prize
      • 550 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 600 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward + Treasure Chest prize
      • 650 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 700 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward
      • 750 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 800 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward
      • 850 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 900 books = Dairy Queen Frequent Reader reward
      • 950 books = Treasure Chest prize
      • 1,000 books = 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten completer certificate + 8″ ice cream cake from DQ (coupon)
  • At 100 books, join the interactive, celebratory display at your preferred location! Children will choose their personalized character, and we’ll track your journey as each 100 milestone is reached. With permission, we’ll also commemorate each 100-book milestone with a photo.

Super Sibling Program

Any sibling who reads 50 books to a brother or sister enrolled in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program will also receive a prize! Use the Super Sibling Reading Log available to download or pick it up at the library for the sibling to keep track of the books they read to your little one. When they’re done, visit the library to receive a coupon for a free small Blizzard from Dairy Queen AND pick a prize from the Treasure Chest. Each sibling is eligible to fill out one form/receive one prize for the duration of their brother/sister’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a library card to participate?
    NO! This service is free and available to any child who has not yet entered school. However, a library card will be a great resource for obtaining new and exciting books to read with your child.
  • Should the account be registered under my name or my child’s?
    Beanstack accounts should be created in the child’s name, but adults will register the child. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten will only be available in Beanstack if the child is 5 years old or younger.
  • Who can participate in this program?
    Any child not yet in kindergarten, beginning with newborns. It’s never too early to begin reading with your child!
  • Can I count books I read to my child before I registered?
    No. The program begins on the day you register, and you only count books you read after registration.
  • How long will the program take?
    The program will take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self-paced, so the time frame 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). And if you have one or more children not yet in kindergarten, encourage the whole family to get involved! Older siblings can even earn a Super Sibling reward for reading with their participating younger sibling.
  • Who can I go to for more questions?
    You can ask any member of our reference or children’s services team for help at the library! Or for online assistance, please call Jennifer Nippert at 543-7675 ext. 7 or e-mail jnippert@bcplib.org.