The goal of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is to encourage early literacy development and young families reading together. Because repetition is a great think for kids' developing brains, most libraries tell parents to count each time a book is read. What does reading 1000 books look like?
- One bedtime story every night for three years.
- Ten books a week for two years.
- Twenty books a week for one year (that's just 3 books a day).
- Most libraries have some sort of a display--a physical representation of the number of books being read by participants. In Hammond, for every 100 books, kids get to put a leaf on a tree in the library (and for every 25 books, they get a sticker to put in their own record book). In Altoona, they'll be using a train mural in the front of the circulation desk, with kids putting up stickers every 100 books.
|Altoona's 1000-books train|
- Many libraries give books to kids when they've had a 1000 books read to them--and some libraries give a book at 250, 500 and 750 books read. Some libraries give out nursery rhyme collections or music CDs, too.
- Many libraries have some sort of special event (or events) to celebrate the program, including graduation parties--or just plain parties for all participants.
- Michelle Johnson, director at the Hammond Public Library, says that the best and most exciting incentives are more intangible--parents and kids are enjoying spending more time reading together, and the both kids and parents are excited to watch their pre-reading skills grow as kids gear up for kindergarten.
- Some libraries go all out and get sponsors for the program, enabling them to do lots of incentives and serve many kids. Menomonie got a generous donation from an individual who saw a presentation about their soon-to-start program at a Lions Club meeting. Others get their Friends groups involved.
- Other libraries have this worked into their regular budget. In Hammond, Michelle uses Scholastic Dollars from a book fair the library holds every year. That way, members of the community are contributing to this program when they purchase things at the fair.
- Getting participants
- Ages: some start with babies, others wait till the child will be most excited to add something to their library display (2 or 3 years old), others really put a push on for kids starting 4K.
- Many libraries partner with preschools, Headstart, daycare centers, 4K programs, etc. to promote the program.
If you want more information or need someone to brainstorm with, contact me (langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us) or check out this excellent summary by the Colorado State Library.