The Lynchburg Public Library has been proudly offering the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program since May 2017!

This program is open to any child, including county residents, and you do not have to have a library card to participate. The program is ongoing and new participants are welcome to join at any time. Why not today? The Youth Services staff will be happy to help you get started.

We are very thankful to our sponsor, The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation and founding sponsor, The Junior League of Lynchburg for making this program possible!

Why 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is important:

This program is a nationwide, evidence-based, early literacy initiative that encourages caregivers and families to read with their young children. Studies have shown that families who start reading aloud to their children at birth help strengthen their language skills and build their vocabulary—two vital steps toward kindergarten readiness. Children who are exposed to books and stories before entering school are more likely to succeed academically early on, and those who develop a love of reading at an early age are more motivated to continue learning to read once enrolled in kindergarten.

How 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Works:

You can watch this brief video, or keep reading below.

The concept is simple; the rewards are priceless. Read a book—any book—to your newborn, infant, and/or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your little one starts kindergarten. (Yes, you can repeat books!) Does it sound difficult? It’s not, if you think about it: If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years! Books read to your child during storytimes count as well. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you may have more time than you think.

We have an exciting reward system in place to keep families and children motivated on their journey to 1,000 books. For each book read, the child or caregiver tracks progress by coloring a numbered circle in the child’s personal copy of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Keepsake Reading Log. For every 100 books read, your child earns a corresponding milestone sticker to be placed in their log. In addition, the special 500-book reward is a drawstring book bag featuring the official 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten logo.

In celebration of reaching the 1,000 book goal, the final prize is a classic children’s book to keep. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten log itself is also meant to be a keepsake, with its log of achievements marking a significant time in your child’s life. The record includes space to write titles of favorite books read and to illustrate favorite scenes. The final page of the record is a certificate to be signed by LPL Youth Services staff. With guardian permission, each child who completes the challenge will also have their photo added to the “wall of fame” in the Youth Services department, and displayed on the Library’s Instagram account.

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