Participating in 1,000 Books before Kindergarten
Who can participate?
The 1,000 Books before Kindergarten program is open to any child between birth and kindergarten.
When can we start?
Anytime you like! There is no prespecified beginning or ending date for the program, and the earlier you start, the more benefits you can give your child.
My child will be starting kindergarten soon. Is he or she too old to participate in the program?
Not at all! Depending on how much time you have before your child starts kindergarten, you may not be able to complete the entire program, but you're still welcome to participate. And even if you only have a year, you can still read 1,000 books by setting a goal of three books per day. Since many picture books take only about five minutes to read, you can complete the program in as few as fifteen minutes a day for one year.
What can we read?
Any book that captures you and your child's imagination.
My child loves to read the same book over and over again. Can I count a book more than once?
Absolutely! Repetition is an important aspect of learning, so you can count a book as many times as you read it.
Do the books we read need to be library books?
No! All books count.
Can someone besides me read to my child?
Yes! Any book that your child listens to can be added to the log, regardless of who reads it.
What about the books read to my child at library storytime, daycare, or preschool?
Those count, too. If you don't know the titles of the books your child hears when you aren't there, you can add the books to your log without their titles. You can use any system you like, but we recommend something like "Storytime Book 1," "Daycare Book 2," etc. If you'd like to record the titles of the books your child hears in storytime, please don't hesitate to ask your librarian for a list of titles at the end of storytime.
Do audiobooks count? What about ebooks?
Definitely! Your child is still listening to a book being read aloud. There are many great audiobooks available in the library as CDs. Audiobooks and ebooks are also available through Overdrive. If you're interested in using any of these resources, please ask your librarian for assistance in setting up an account and downloading materials.
TIP: Try using your time together in the car to get in extra reading by listening to audiobooks.
Once we've read our first 100 books, what do we do?
If you are using a paper log to record your books, bring in your completed log to the library to receive the next log that you need. If you are using READSquared to record your books, head to the library, and tell the librarian your child's name. Your librarian will look up your account on READSquared and award your child his/her prize.
Using READSquared to Log Reading
How do I register my child?
How do I log the books I read to my child online?
On your account homepage, or from the "My Log" tab at the top of the screen, you will find a "Log Activity" box. The date shown is the current date, but if you need to change it, just click on it and a calendar will appear. This calendar will enable you to change the date for the book you are entering. Then just add the title of the book you read (and the author if you choose), and click "Submit." If you'd like to see a list of all the books you have entered thus far, click on the "History" button.
How many points do we receive for reading a book?
One book is worth one point. Thus, the program is completed when you reach 1,000 points (or books).
Can we earn points for completing reading lists?
No, you do not earn points for completing reading lists, but you do earn badges. Plus, make sure you enter the name of each book that you read from a reading list to your log to earn points for reading it.
We received an email that says my child earned prize. What do we do?
Just head to the library, and tell the librarian your child's name. Your librarian will look up your account on READSquared and award you child his or her prizes.
Can I upload my own picture for my child's avatar?
Unfortunately, you can only choose from the available avatars. Luckily, there are many to fun ones to select!
I forgot my child's password. How can I retrieve it?
If you entered your email address when you registered, you can retrieve your child's password via email. From the Login page, click on “Did you forget your password? Get it by email.”
If you did not enter your email address when you registered, staff at the library can help you change your child's password.
I forgot my child's username. How can I retrieve it?
Library staff can look up or change your child's username for you. Call your library branch and ask to speak with the Children's staff.