1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Did you know that reading to your child is one of the most powerful ways to boost his or her brain power? The simple and enjoyable act of sharing books helps your child learn pre-reading skills such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a bigger vocabulary, and building background knowledge—all important skills that help prepare your child for learning to read and entering kindergarten.

Rochester Public Library District’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a fun, exciting, and free way to start your child on the path to success! Any child ages birth to five years can participate. Just follow these steps:

  1. Register: Sign up in person at Rochester Library, or online at READsquared!  Pick up program materials at the library, or print them from our website. Your child upon registering will receive a small plushie reading buddy.
  2. Track Your Reading: Every time you read with your child record the book on READsquared.

  3. Every Book Counts: Even if your child wants to hear the same book, again and again, you can count it each time. You can also count the books your child hears in storytime, in daycare or preschool, or with a friend or family member, as long as your child listens to the entire book.
  4. 100-Book Milestones: Each time you read 100 books, bring your reading record to the library to receive a necklace with “I read 100 books” tag. Your child will receive a different tag with every 100 books read to add to the necklace.
  5. 1,000 Books: You did it! Come celebrate at the library by receiving a plushie reading buddy. We will order a new book in your child’s name. When the book arrives a bookplate with a dedication to your child will be placed on the inside cover, and it will be placed on hold for your family so your child will be the first one to check it out!
  6. Keep on Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000! Keep on reading together; there’s more learning ahead!

Singing songs, saying rhymes, telling stories, and playing with your child are all great ways to build their literacy skills. Visit Rochester Public Library District often for free programs that are fun and educational for your little one and to find great books to share with your child.

One thousand books may seem like a lot, but if you read just one book a night, you’ll meet your goal in less than 3 years. If you read three books a night, you could reach your goal in just one year! Ask our friendly staff for suggestions—we’re here to help you on your journey to 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Happy Reading!