Parents and caregivers can ensure their young children enter school ready to read by participating in The Indianapolis Public Library’s newly-launched “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program.
The initiative is based on substantial research indicating that the more children are read to during their early years, the more prepared they will be to read when entering kindergarten. Program goals include not only readying children for academic success, but also instilling a child’s lifelong love of reading, reinforcing the parent’s role as the child’s first and best teacher, and fostering a positive connection to the public library for families.
To participate in “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” parents or caregivers can register at any IndyPL location where they will be given a tracking sheet to log their first 100 books. Books can be from home or the Library and can be read repeatedly. After completing the first tracking sheet they can return to the Library to receive a progress sticker and additional tracking sheets for books read in multiples of 100. Prizes will be awarded for levels of 100, 500 and 1,000 books read.
Also during registration, adults will fill out a short evaluation that measures current reading habits and attitudes about literacy and provides basic demographic information. Evaluations will continue at the 100, 500 and 1,000 book levels.
“Daily reading to infants, toddlers and preschoolers is the best way to establish a habit that will benefit them for a lifetime,” according to Abby Brown, IndyPL’s Early Literacy Specialist. “Whereas 1,000 books may sound daunting, if a parent reads one book a night to a child for three years, they will have read 1,095 books!”
The “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program is part of a larger Library initiative, “Ready to Read,” that is intended to introduce preschoolers to literacy and technology and target resources to parents, caregivers and educators.