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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless.

This literacy program is based on a simple but powerful fact: children who are read to at home are better prepared for school and continue to do well throughout their time in school. Each book a caregiver reads with their child provides an opportunity for early learning.  Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. 

Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read with a parent or caregiver. Give your child a head start in learning and reading with this fun and simple program!

This program is for children from birth through 5 years who have not yet started kindergarten.

How to Participate:

Register by logging in or signing up using our online logging system, Beanstack. If you have previously created an account on Beanstack for another reading program like Summer Reading, log in using the same login information. If you are new to Beanstack, create an account for yourself first. Once in your account, add your child as a new reader and select 1000 Books Before Kindergarten as the program.

  • Read any books. The goal is to have read 1000 books by the time your child starts kindergarten.
  • Log each book read in Beanstack.
  • Virtual badges are awarded for every 100 books read. 

When you reach 1000 books, contact our Youth Services Department at 815-467-6200 ext.308 or by email at ys@trpld.org. Library staff will respond with info on how to claim the completion prize and certificate. Prizes and certificates are typically awarded each year in August, before the start of the new school year. 

Helpful Hints:

  • Every book counts, including audiobooks, digital books, books read aloud by others.
  • Make it exciting!  Try using different voices for characters or giving inflection when there is an action happening.
  • Make your own milestone rewards.  Our program gives virtual badges for every 100 books read and a prize pack and book when the 1000 books goal is reached. For extra encouragement, you can find fun ways on your own to reward your child, such as stickers, a fun treat or small toy, or even just an extra trip to the playground.
  • Need help with what to read?  The official 1000 Books Before Kindergarten site has a recommended reading list available here

1000 Books Before Kindergarten FAQ
    • It's never to early to get started reading to your child.  As soon as your child is born, they can be registered for the program and you can start reading and logging. Even if your child nearing Kindergarten age, you can still participate and potentially finish the program.  The standard age for entering Kindergarten is 5 years, but our program is open to children from birth through 6 years old, to give late starters some extra leeway.  The key is to just start reading!

    • 1000 books is a lot, but it's not as daunting a task as it may seem! 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. Children are generally entering Kindergarten at age 5, but our program runs through age 6, so give you a bit of leeway if you get a late start on the program. The key is to just start reading together. 

      Helpful hints:

      • Every book counts, even those read by others, board books,digital books, etc.
      • Make it exciting!  Try using different voices for characters or just giving inflection when there is an action happening.
      • Make your own milestone rewards.  Our program gives virtual badges to indicate each 100 books read and a prize pack and book when the 1000 books goal is reached. You can find fun ways on your own to reward your child, such as stickers, a fun treat or small toy, or even just an extra trip to the playground.
      • Need help with what to read?  The official 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program created a recommended reading list available here
    • Bookmark this direct link to Beanstack or use Beanstack's app, available for Apple and Android devices. If this is your first time using Beanstack, please view this quick 1 minute tutorial to help you get started.Beanstack

      Apple App Store

      Google Play Store

    • If you have never used Beanstack before, view a quick and easy, 1 minute video tutorial to help you get started: Beanstack Tutorial

      If you have previously used Beanstack for our Summer Reading program or from another library, you can log in using the same username and password you previously used, then add your child as a new reader under your account. 

      If you need more help, stop in at either library or contact us by email at ys@trpld.org, or by phone at 815-467-6200 x308 or 815-467-1600 x206.

    • Beanstack does allow you to log multiple books at once. However, if you prefer to have a complete list of all the book titles read on your account, then you will need to enter each book one at a time.

      If you had previously been participating using a paper log and are transitioning to Beanstack, you can enter your titles the same way, multiple with no titles, or one book at a time to keep your title list complete.  It is up to you!

    • No, any book you read counts, whether it's a library book, your own book, books from grandma's house, etc.

    • Yes!  Log every book you read for both programs.

    • Every book you read with your child counts! If you read the same book 10 times, log the book ten times.

    • Yes, any book that is read to your child counts.

    • As long as your child reads or listens to the whole book, it counts!  If you are interested in digital books, try Tumblebooks, BookFlix, Overdrive, Hoopla, and Axis 360 for digital titles available for free with your library card.

    • Yes! Reading is an important activity for adults to do with children, so if your child reads to you, that counts too!

    • Yes. The library does have paper logs available on request.  Please contact our Youth Services Department in person, by email at ys@trpld.org, or by phone at 815-467-6200 x308 or 815-467-1600 x206.