Library District launches 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten for parents and children

Press release from Alachua County Library District

Parents and caregivers can sign up online for the new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program starting March 1 to empower families to read to infants and toddlers, building skills for future success.

Caregivers can register at https://aclib.beanstack.org/ for the Alachua County Library District’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and commit to reading 1,000 books to their little ones by kindergarten. Parents who register can track their reading online and receive a quarterly email filled with librarian-approved book lists and reading tips.

When caregivers complete the program, their child earns a certificate and a small prize from the Library District. There’s no set timeframe for the program, so parents and babies can participate at their own pace. Books read at daycare and stories read multiple times all count. 

“The idea behind the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is to encourage bonding between caregivers and children through a fun approach to early literacy, and to help young children develop positive attachments to reading and gain the confidence they need to become strong readers,” said Youth Services Librarian Madison Snyder. “Reading to children helps develop critical pre-reading skills that provide a solid reading foundation – a key to school and learning success. Plus, reading together is fun!”

Children who are read to frequently hear an estimated 1.4 million more words than children who are not read to, according to a 2019 study. A survey of brain scans showed that preschoolers who were read more stories at home had greater brain activity in areas connected to visual imagery and story comprehension. Reading has social-emotional benefits, too, improving behavior and reducing hyperactivity, according to 2018 research

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Find tips on reading aloud to children, story time videos, and reading lists at www.aclib.us/1000Books. For more information about the program or to schedule an interview, please contact Rachel Cook at rcook@aclib.us or 352-334-3909.