1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

As the name says, this is a program that encourages families to read 1000 books before Kindergarten. Reading with children is a great way to help them learn and to build strong relationships. 1000 books sounds like a lot! If you break it down to 1 book a day, that’s 365 books in 1 year! How often does a child want to read just 1 book? You can also count when their older siblings read with them. You can count books they “read”. You can count books you listen to on youtube with them. You can count books read to them by other people. The important thing is sharing books with children. Even babies have long term benefits from reading and exploring books. 

Not only are books good for learning, reading books is also a wonderful way to spend 1-1 time with your child and build a stronger relationship. The memories you make with them will be some of the best memories both you and your child have of each other.

You can register anytime you wish to start by using Beanstack online or via the Beanstack app

You can also pick up a paper log from the Youth Services desk if you want!

Track every and all books being read to or by your child! Books read at school centers, libraries, or home all count. You can read the same book 1000 times and it still counts. Kids love to hear read the same book over and over. 

Log into Beanstack to log your books each day. There are incentives along your way to 1,000 books, provided by the library. 


Fill out the paper log and return it to the South Sioux City Public Library Youth Services desk at milestones like 50 books, 100 books and up! 


Does it sound hard? Not really if you think about it. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think (so get started).

  • Have fun! Use different voices, motions, facial expressions, and props to bring the story to life. Make reading fun and enjoyable.
  • Snuggle up! Hold your child in your lap or next to you. Include a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or other comfort items. Using the blanket create a reading fort. Maybe you can read to the favorite toy.
  • Talk about it! Point out things in the pictures. Ask your child questions about the pictures and story. Share stories about yourself.
  • Stay flexible! It’s ok to skip pages, read back to front, just look at the pictures, or not finish a book. You can also read aloud while your child plays with other toys.
  • Be prepared! Keep books close at hand – throughout your home, in the diaper bag, in the car – for sharing anytime. A few minutes throughout the day add up to a big benefit for your child.
  • Repeat favorites! Children love to hear their favorite stories over and over again. Repetition helps them gain important literacy skills.

Parent Q&A

Q – “But what if my child won’t sit and listen to a book?”

A – It’s not always necessary to make them sit and stare at a book. They’ll get the language benefits from it from just hearing it. It’s nice when they sit and listen but it’s not the most important thing to worry about.

Q – “What if my child wants to read the same book over and over? Shouldn’t they want to read new things?”

A – Children love repetition and repetition is actually a way of learning for children. For 1000 books before kindergarten, you can reread books as often as you and your child want to. In general reading, repetition is good for young, developing brains. Repeating books lets them make connections to the pictures having meaning and also associating the sounds of the book with the letters on the page.

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