1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Help your child get ready to read by joining the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge!

collage of families reading together

Reading with your little one not only builds closeness but also supports the development of early literacy skills.  Research demonstrates that children who are read to early in life have an advantage when learning to read themselves later on.  The idea of 1000 Books is very simple: Read with your little one and try to reach the goal of 1000 books before they start kindergarten. Essex Public Library has all the tools you need to keep track and reach this goal.

How It Works

Participate entirely online or use our paper tracking sheets. To track your books online, visit our Beanstack page at eplva.beanstack.org. You can download the Beanstack Tracker app for a mobile device from App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). If you prefer to keep track on paper, ask a library staff member for a paper tracking sheet or print your log and tracking sheets at home.

Rewards & Prizes

child wearing 1000 books before kindergarten backpack, holding a book and smiling

As you reach milestones on your way to 1,000 books, you'll earn exciting rewards:

    • Registration: a child-size, hand-quilted tote bag
    • 100 books: a free book
    • 250 books:  a magnet
    • 500 books:  a Dunkin' Donut voucher and temporary tattoo
    • 750 books:  a free book
    • 1000 books:  Entry into the Hall of Fame and Riley Raccoon's Swag Bag:  a Riley drawstring backpack, a completion certificate, a temporary tattoo, a coupon for a special treat, and your child's photo published in The Rappahannock Times!
About 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 books sounds like a lot.  How is it even possible to read that many before kindergarten? It's a challenge, but not impossible.  If you read one book a day, you can finish in less than three years.  If you read three books a day, you can finish in less than a year.

Do I have to read 1,000 different books? Repetition is very important for young children.  You are more than welcome to read the same book over and over and count it every time!

Do parents/caregivers have to do all the reading? You can count books read by anyone.  When a child is read to by many different people, they learn that reading is important to everyone - so ask your family and friends to chip in!  Even books from the Library's Storytimes count.

What happens when we're done? Keep up the good work!  Reading has become an important part of your family life.  And when your child begins kindergarten, be sure to tell their teachers they've read 1,000 books!