St. Marys Library

To provide children with early literacy skills before they enter Kindergarten by encouraging families to read with their children every day.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a national initiative to promote reading to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and to promote the bonding that takes place between parent and child while reading. The library is working with early childhood agencies in the area to provide a packet of information on the program. The library is targeting agencies that help low income families. Each packet contains a book to help the parents get started on the program. The parents come into the library to sign up their child and to receive their first reading log. Reading logs are divided into 50 book segments.

Books may be read more than once and recorded. Books read at library story times, day care centers, preschools, or by others may be counted. The completed reading sheet is returned to the library and the child receives their prize. When the child has finished 1,000 books, they will receive a certificate of completion; a book in the library is dedicated to the child; and their picture is taken with the book and displayed.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a fun way to encourage families to read aloud to their young children. It will introduce children to a variety of books and promote early literacy so children can enter school ready to learn. It helps children and their parents bond. It reinforces the parents’ role as their child’s first teacher, and it encourages families to regularly use the library for lifelong learning.

This program will strengthen the working relationship between the library and early childhood agencies in the area. It will also help promote the library services for families to those who need us the most.

“The St. Marys Public Library is really excited to receive a LEAP grant from Better World Books to help spread a love of reading to children under the age of 5 with our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program! The 1,000 books program helps children develop a love of books and is a fun way to encourage families to read aloud to their young children. This program is perfect for all families as it is self-paced. Families can read as little as one book a day and complete the program in just under 3 years, or they can read many books a day and finish the program in a few months.”