In January 2013, AAPLD launched its 1,001 Books Before Kindergarten program, an early literacy initiative for children through age 5. Designed to inspire parents to read to their children from birth and support them in their efforts, this innovative program creates a foundation for early literacy and rewards parents and children for their extraordinary achievement.

This program stems from the principles established in the 2nd edition of Every Child Ready to Read®, a parent education initiative by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children.

The Library has registered more than 900 children since the program was introduced, with 220 of those children “graduating” in a ceremony complete with their own mortarboard, treats, and a special certificate.

Parents who participate in this program commit to reading at least 1,001 books to their children before they enter kindergarten. Parents receive a folder with information about the program, the Library, the children’s collection, recommended books, the six early literacy skills and five early literacy practices outlined in Every Child Ready to Read®, and a book log for their first 100 titles. Parents will track all books read to their children in their book log. Books can be repeated multiple times and can include any titles read during storytime, at home, at preschool, daycare, etc. Titles read for summer and winter reading programs can also be included. Books can also be tracked using Beanstack; an account can be created with your library card information.

Parents, children, and the Library will celebrate the following milestones:

  • First 100 books: Participants receive stickers, a bookmark, and their next book log
  • Every 100 books: Participants get a prize and their next log
  • At 500 books: Participants receive an exclusive “1,001 Books” patch.
  • At 1,001 books: The child receives a book and certificate of completion. He/she will also have a photo taken with a book of their choice, to be displayed during the graduation ceremony.

The Library holds periodic graduation parties for children who have completed the program.

To register, parents need to visit the Youth Services Reference desk at the Harnish Main Library with their AAPLD Library card. For more information or to speak with a Youth Services librarian, call 847-458-6060 x135.