Belle Plaine Public Library is excited to offer this program for families of young children! Read below to see more details and find out how to get started!  Visit the library during open hours with questions and to enroll your children.

Who is it for?

Families of children from birth through not yet enrolled in Kindergarten.  Older siblings can participate by reading to their younger siblings that are enrolled in the program!

How does it work?

  • Register your child at the library to receive resources and your first log.
  • Read 100 books with your child and record them on the log! Bring it back when completed to receive your next log.
  • Keep reading, filling out the logs, and bringing them in for the next one.
  • Don’t forget there are a few goodies given along the path to reading 1,000 books!


Why 1,000 Books?

Studies have shown that reading with your child provides a great opportunity for bonding and creates life-long memories. Listening to books helps children gain the ready-to-read skills they need for kindergarten. The objectives of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten organization are:

  • to promote reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers
  • to encourage parent and child bonding through reading


Numerous studies estimate that as many as one in five children have difficulties learning to read. Reading has been associated as an early indicator of academic success. Public formal education does not typically start until ages 5-6. Before then, parents and caregivers are the first education providers during the 0-5 early critical years. The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge is a simple (read a book, any book to your child, with the goal of reading 1,000 before kindergarten) and very manageable endeavor.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How long will the program take?
If you read just one book a night, you will have read just over 1,000 books in three years.  If you read three books a night you can finish in just a year! It’s not a race though, just enjoy reading with your child.

2. Do I have to read 1,000 different books?
No! Most children have a favorite book that they want to hear often.  Every time you read that book, you can count it as one more.

3. What books count?
Any books that are read to your child count! Whether it is by you, a teacher, a sibling, or even a librarian at story time. Every book counts!


Of course the main incentive of this program is the time spent reading with your child and the literacy skills they gain from the time with you. However, actual prizes are fun too! Each child will get to move their name on our display wall after each 100 books along with the items below.

200 Books:
Alphabet Flash Cards

500 Books:
Book tote-bag

800 Books:
Name on a Book Plate in library book of child’s choice

1,000 Books:
Free Book, certificate,  picture on our Finisher’s Wall

Additional Resources:

Here is the link to the organizations website, a few book lists, and some fun resources.  Enjoy this time with your child!

Book Lists:

Is your home literacy-friendly?

Early Literacy Skills and Activities: