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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Pastel drawing of a cute squirrel on a stack of books - art by Judy Crawford.

Congratulations! You are about to embark on a fantastic, lifelong journey with your child. You have committed to enjoying books with your child and in the process, reaping the benefits as your child gains pre-literacy skills that will prepare him or her for reading and learning throughout life.

When you register for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, you will receive a binder with pages for the 1000 books, and tips to help make reading aloud one of the most enjoyable and beneficial activities you will ever share with a child. As you progress in 100-book increments, you will earn additional prizes and get new pre-reading skills to help prepare your child for Kindergarten and life-long learning.

How To Get Started

  1. Enroll your child at the Jasper County Public Library's Rensselaer, DeMotte, or Wheatfield Branch and receive your 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten binder. The binder will have the pages to track your 1000 books, how to get started information, and many helpful literacy tips.
  2. After each set of 100 books is read and recorded, take your binder to your library branch and get your completion sticker and have your picture taken so we can post it on our wall of readers.
  3. When you have reached the half way mark of 500 books, bring your binder to your library branch for your half way through the program prize.
  4. When you and your child have read and recorded your 1000th book, take your binder to your library branch for your certificate and prize. A staff member will take a picture of you and your child for our wall of readers.

You may be asking yourself, “How will I read 1000 books to my child?” One thousand is a big number; however, when you start breaking that number down over five years, or even two years, the task isn’t that overwhelming. If you would take the full five years to complete this program, you could read one book every other day and read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. If you would break this down over two years, that would be fewer than two books a day. This small time commitment is well worth the advantage you will be giving your child and the memories that you will have spending time with him or her.


  1. Have fun! Reading together should never be a chore.
  2. Take every chance you have to read with your children, tell and talk about stories, say nursery rhymes and sing songs.
  3. Expose your children to a variety of different types of stories and vocabulary. It is completely normal and expected for children, especially very young children, to have their favorite books that they want to hear over and over again. When you have the opportunity though, introduce new stories so that your child has a chance to experiment and hear as many new words and concepts as possible.
  4. Children learn best when they are in a good mood so read with your child when the experience will be the most pleasurable for both of you.

Pre-Reading Skills & More Information

Browse through each of the sections of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program binder or download below. Each section contains special tips and pre-reading skills to help make reading more enjoyable and beneficial.

Many of the literacy facts and tips that you will read throughout the packet are taken from the American Library Association’s website and the Every Child Ready to Read booklet and website.

Program Binder Downloads

These documents are available in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Reader software or browser extension to view and print these documents.