1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten logo, with illustration of diverse children reading books

The East Lansing Public Library wants every child to be ready to read before they start school. Sharing books with your child helps them establish pre-literacy skills, such as understanding the sounds letters make; developing a bigger vocabulary; building background knowledge about all sorts of people, places, and things; and learning to love books. East Lansing Public Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a fun and free way to start your child on the path to becoming a great reader.

One thousand books may sound like a lot, but if you read just one book a day, you’ll meet your goal in less than three years, or read three books a day to reach your goal in under one year! Any child from birth to five years old may participate, just follow these steps:

  1. Register: Sign up at the East Lansing Public Library, pick up your first reading log, and get reading!
  2. Track Your Reading: Check off a square for each book you read with your child on your reading log. Every book counts! If your child wants to hear the same book over and over, that’s ok; count it each time. You can also count the books your child hears in storytime, daycare, preschool, or with a friend or family member. All reading opportunities count so long as your child listens to the whole book.
  3. 100-Book Milestones: Each time you read 100 books, bring your reading log to the library, receive a special reward, and take home a new log for your next 100 books.
  4. 1,000 Books: Congratulations, you did it! You have given your child a priceless gift – the readiness to read!
  5. Keep Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000; keep reading so that your child is able to continue improving their pre-literacy skills or advancing as new readers.

Reading together is just one way to help your child become ready to read. There are four other activities that help children develop pre-literacy skills. You can also sing songs and rhymes, talk to or with your child, play with your child, and help them to develop fine motor skills needed for writing through art and craft activities. Talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing are the five activities that best help children become ready to read.

Are you interested in the program and want to get started while the building is closed to the public? Or would you prefer not to come in the building once we re-open? We've got a curbside edition for that!

Have questions? Email youth services librarian Caitlyn Stypa at cstypa@cityofeastlansing.com.

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