It may come as no surprise to hear librarians advocating that you read to your young child! Developing reading habits with your child, from as early an age as possible, increases their vocabulary and sets them up well for future learning.
However, reading to a child is not just about preparing them to do well at school. Listening to stories helps develop your child’s imagination, and they also love hearing your voice and feeling close to you when you read books together.
With all this in mind, we invite families with children from birth to pre-K to join our new program, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, which launches on October 1.
The aim of this program, as the title implies, is to read 1000 books to your child before they start Kindergarten. This may seem like a daunting task to busy parents, but we have created a program that makes this simple, and most importantly, fun!
How to participate
Starting October 1, sign up in person at the Youth Services Info Desk or at mgpl.org/1000books and pick up your special 1000 Books Before Kindergarten bag. The bag contains a booklet for you to record the books you read, along with your very own shaker egg and activity scarf, just like the ones we use at the library in storytime.
Every time you read a book with your child, mark off a star in the booklet. For every 100 books read, your child will receive a sticker to add to their bookmark inside the booklet. At the halfway point, when you have read 500 books together, your child will earn a free book to keep.
We’ll celebrate you and your child reading 1000 books with a special t-shirt, certificate of completion, and a bookplate with their name on it that we will add to the inside of one of their favorite library books.
To support you in this reading journey, look out for special bi-monthly 1000 Books storytimes and email newsletters, which will include early literacy tips, useful links, book suggestions, and more. The first storytime will be held via Zoom on Thursday, October 22, at 10 am (register at mgpl.org/events).
How long will the program take to complete?
The great thing about this program is that you participate at your own speed. There is no official end date—simply read as much as you can with your child before they start Kindergarten. Read one book a day to your child and you will reach 1000 books in less than three years. Read three books a day and you will reach 1000 books in less than a year. Ultimately this program is about sharing the enjoyment of reading with your child and letting them hear lots of different words and stories.
We look forward to your family joining 1000 Books Before Kindergarten! If you have any questions about the program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-929-5102.
Sarah Mitchell-Mace is a Youth Services Librarian at Morton Grove Public Library.