1000 books before kindergarten graphic

Help encourage your child’s love of reading by joining the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge! Children get ready to read long before they enter school. Reading and sharing books with your child from the moment they are born helps them to develop pre-reader skills for Kindergarten, form a positive attitude towards reading, and encourages bonding. Any child from birth to five years can participate for free!

How to Participate

  1. Register your child through Beanstack or download the app*. If you do not wish to use the Beanstack app, you can download the tracking sheet or pick one up from your local branch. Try logging 100 books at a time.
  2. Write down the title or log the book in Beanstack for each book that you and your child read together. Re-reading books counts! If your child wants to hear the same story more than once, record the title each time you read that story.
  3. Earn badges each time you reach a milestone on Beanstack. Share your journey on social media! Tag us @OxfordCountyLibrary and use the hashtag #1000books.
  4. When you have logged 1000 books, your child will earn a completion certificate and a free book prize pack!
  5. Keep on reading!

* If signing up with the Beanstack App, be sure to choose “School, Library, or Bookstore” when asked to choose an organization type and then choose Oxford County Library.

How Do I Read 1000 Books!?

Reading a thousand books can be daunting. But if you read one book a night with your child, you can complete the challenge in less than three years. If you read three books a night, you can read 1000 books in one year! Learning new rhymes, singing songs, speaking with your child, and actively playing with your child are also great ways to build literacy skills. Visit our program calendar to find free literacy boosting programs for you and your child to enjoy together.

Child's age when starting 1000 Books Before KindergartenNumber of books to read per day to complete 1000 Books Before KindergartenNumber of books to read per week to complete 1000 Books Before Kindergarten
0 Years Old 1 4
1 Years Old 2 5
2 Years Old 3 7
3 Years Old 4 10
4 Years Old 5 20

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 Why should I participate in this program and why 1000 books?

 Your child’s brain develops more from birth to 6 years of age than any other time in their life. The goal of reading a thousand books before your child enters Kindergarten will help to strengthen the following pre-reader skills:

  • Children who are read to from a young age develop a larger vocabulary and stronger language skills. Many young children will not be able to read the book themselves and will need your help or the help of family members to complete the challenge, but children learn sounds very quickly by listening to you and working towards repeating what they hear.
  • Sharing books develops positive reading experiences, which will motivate your child to stick with it when learning to read becomes more of a challenge.
  • Reading builds empathy and expands acceptance for a diversity of beliefs and lifestyles that may seem different from a child’s own lived experiences.
  • Children explore colourful artwork and photographs in picture books, building visual literacy along with their knowledge of written and spoken language.
  • Sharing books together is wonderful for building memories and bonding!
 When can I join?
Children 0 to 5 years old can join at any time! 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is an ongoing program at Oxford County Library.
 Do I need to track book titles?

Yes, you will need to record book titles to receive the prize. Please track book titles on Beanstack or on the paper tracking sheets. You can download the paper tracking sheets on our website or pick some up from your local branch. Try tracking 100 books at a time. Put this list somewhere easily accessible and visible to keep you motivated! If you child wants to hear the same story more than once, record the title each time you read the story.

 Where can I find books to read to my child?

 We have created a book list that you can download. It includes a variety of picture books and board books. You can also find this book list under “100 Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten” on Beanstack. Ask our friendly staff for suggestions or attend a virtual or in-person storytime.

 Do the books have to be from the library?
No, you can read books from anywhere!
 Can I re-read the same book?
Yes, we understand that children have favourite books they like to read again and again! Write down the title each time you have read a particular book.
 Can I count books that are read to my child by someone other than myself?
Yes, if your child hears a book at preschool, the library, from a grandparent or babysitter, or a storytime—it all counts! Just ask for the book titles and record them.
 Is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten compatible with the Library's Summer Reading Club?

Yes, the time you spend reading books for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten can also count toward your Summer Reading Club goal.

 What do I do once I have read 1000 books?

If you are recording your reading on Beanstack, follow the instructions on the website once you have logged the 1000 Books Badge. If you are tracking on paper, bring in your completed tracking list to your local branch and provide staff with your contact information. We will contact you to provide you with a congratulatory certificate and book prize! Continue to make reading and talking about books a family routine beyond this challenge to support your child’s literacy development and maintain a positive attitude towards reading.