May 2021 Update: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Thanks for participating in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten! This program encourages caregivers and their children to read 1,000 books before the child enters kindergarten, giving the child a jumpstart in their educational journey. A child receives a free book for each 100 books they read. Just visit any Library location to pick out a free book for your home library! When children reach 1,000 books, they get a free backpack and kindergarten supply kit!

Remember, if you have not yet registered, there are two ways to participate in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten:

  • You can visit a Library location to receive a paper log. (You can even ask to sign up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten at curbside!) Staff will take your information and provide you with a booklet to keep track of all the books your child reads. 
  • Or if you prefer, you can sign up on Beanstack to track books online. Beanstack is the Library’s online reading platform. Just create an account and log books as your child completes them. You can even download the Beanstack app to log books by scanning their barcode with your phone!

Each quarter, we will be releasing a blog post to provide updates on the program, information on Library events, literacy tips, and book recommendations for both caregivers and children.

Literacy at Home

Reading Rockets is an organization that creates all kinds of resources for raising confident readers. Their guide “Reading Tips for Parents of Toddlers” is chock full of good information! The guide explains that it’s perfectly acceptable for toddlers to not want to sit during a story; even if they’re skipping around or doing a somersault, they’re still listening. The guide also encourages parents to ask their toddler questions while out and about; it strengthens their vocabulary skills and also allows for them to form and communicate their own opinions. Caregivers should also be picking books out about subjects their child is interested in. It’s okay if they want to only read books about dinosaurs, and it’s also okay if they want to read it more than once (although it may wear on you!). Their enthusiasm for the subject and the repetition all help to build better readers. 

Book recommendations

We’ve added five new board books to our prize list!

Nita’s First Signs by Kathy MacMillan Using American Sign Language, little Nita communicates to her parents to ask for food, playtime, and to express her love. With slide-out components to show how to do each sign as well as handy tabs to use for quick reference, kids will enjoy learning basic sign language. 

Dinoblock by Christopher Franceschelli An interactive book, the cut-out pages in the shapes of dinosaurs invites young readers to touch each page to really get an idea of the dinosaur’s shape. With over 20 different dinosaurs, any dino lover will appreciate the fun and colorful illustrations and learning the correct pronunciations of the dinos’ often complicated names.  

This Is a Book of Shapes by Kenneth Kraegel While this is definitely a book of shapes, this funny book’s unexpected twists will keep young readers interested (and laughing) as they learn their shapes.

Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald Is your young one interested in bugs? This handy little guide introduces readers to a myriad of different bugs they may find in their backyard, along with reference facts for older readers. Best yet? Because it’s a board book, it will most likely survive a trip or two outside with the bugs!

8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie Told in verse, introduce your young reader to the planets of our solar system! Along with colorful illustrations, each rhyme tells some interesting facts about what makes each planet unique. 

For caregivers: You may find that as you're teaching your child to read that you need some resources as well! Here is a great book that will help you raise a lifelong, confident reader. 

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo 

“Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? How about curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer's Stone? Combining clear, practical advice with inspiration, wisdom, tips, and curated reading lists, How to Raise a Reader shows you how to instill the joy and time-stopping pleasure of reading.

Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, and each illustrated by a different artist, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it's how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader. A fifth section, "More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level," is full of expert recommendations. Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way.”

Library updates

June 1 starts our Summer Challenge! Drop in to any Library location to pick up a booklet to record books you’ve read or special activities you’ve completed. You can also participate online at We’ve pledged to read 25,000 books this summer as a community, so keep busy this summer by contributing to that goal!

SLPL offers a wide variety of virtual programming! To check out what we’re offering next, this calendar provides all of the information needed to enjoy one of our virtual programs. 

Don’t forget Take & Makes kits! Each month, we have a different craft or activity for both school-age children and tweens/teens. 

Happy reading!