1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Milton Public Library is thrilled to present the new 1,000 Books before Kindergarten program. This program is a fun, exciting, free way to start your child on the path to success!

The concept is simple; the rewards are priceless. Read a book – any book – to your newborn, infant, toddler and/or preschooler. The goal is to have read 1000 books (yes, you can repeat books) before your child starts kindergarten.

Once you have read 1000 books, bring your tracker into your local branch. You will receive a congratulatory certificate. Don’t stop at 1000 - keep on reading together. There’s more learning ahead!

man reading to daughter

Why participate?

Giving your child rich experiences helps to build the basic architecture of their brain, which will give them an excellent start in school and beyond.

Students exhaustively show that an early childhood filled with books and informal learning vastly increases a child’s success in school.

Young children who are read to regularly show a mastery of vocabulary and reading comprehension , and demonstrate increased learning potential over peers who aren’t exposed to books.

In addition to the educational benefits, reading together is wonderful for building memories and bonding!

*Sharing books helps to build a love of reading, which will motivate your child to stick with it when learning to read becomes more of a challenge

*Reading daily with your child builds vocabulary , an essential tool in the kits of strong readers

*Accomplishing the goal of 1,000 books gives your child a sense of pride

*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 books, building visual literacy along with their knowledge of written and spoken language

Although 1000 books sounds like a huge number, consider this:

If you read just one book a day, you will have read 365 books in a year and you could finish in less than three years.

Read 10 books per week? Less than two years.

Three books a day? Less than a year!

child reading

How do I sign up?

Drop by any MPL location to pick up the 1000 Books before Kindergarten tracker. You and your child can start participating as soon as they are born all the way up until they enter Kindergarten. Tip: We recommend displaying your tracker somewhere in your home that is highly visible and where everyone in your family can see it.

How do I track the books?

All you need to do is colour in a bee anytime a book is read to your child. If you read the same book three times in a row, colour three bees. You can also colour bees for every book that is read during storytime, by teachers and librarians. The program is self-paced and can take anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on how often you read together. Please note that although you do not need to keep a list of the titles and authors of the books you read, there is a free 1000 Books Before Kindergarten app you can download to track that information, if you wish to do so.

Is there a required reading list?

Your child and you choose which books to read…any book in any language counts. If you are looking for suggestions, ask staff for recommendations next time you’re at the library. We’d be happy to help you.

Is 1000 Books before Kindergarten compatible with the library’s Summer Reading Club?

The time you spend reading books for 1000 Books before Kindergarten counts towards your Summer Reading Club goal.

1000 books poster