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Prince William Public Library
1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning.

Children whose caregivers read to them often, and are frequently exposed to other literacy experiences such as singing, rhyming, and yes, even talking, have an edge when it comes to being ready to learn to read when they enter school. Research shows that engaging in early literacy activities at home helps prevent reading difficulties later in school and promotes positive attitudes toward reading. Most important, reading together is fun!

Need more reasons to read aloud to your kids? says it perfectly:

  • The number of words a child knows upon entering kindergarten is a key predictor of his or her success.

  • When you read aloud, your example demonstrates that reading is important, fun, and valued.

  • Reading to your child builds vocabulary, phonics, familiarity with the printed words, and comprehension.

  • In short, reading aloud builds literacy skills.

  • Reading aloud is a great way to bond with your child.

Still not convinced?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has found that 26 percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.

The NCES also reported that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to:

  • Count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)

  • Write their own names (54% vs. 40%)

  • Read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)

Have you heard of the 30 million-word gap? A landmark study by Betty Hart and Todd Risley (1995) found that some kids heard 30 million fewer words by their fourth birthdays than others. The kids who heard more words were better prepared when they entered school, and by the time they got to third grade, had bigger vocabularies, were stronger readers, and got higher test scores. What does this mean? The kids who started out ahead, stayed ahead. The kids who started out behind, stayed behind.

The good news is, just 15 minutes of reading to your child per day is enough to make a difference. If you read 15 minutes a day, every day for five years, you’ll read for 27, 525 minutes, or 456.25 hours!


There are two ways to sign up:
  1. Sign up at any Prince William Public Library branch and pick up a printed reading log. If you are eager to begin, click on the fox to print your first log.

  2. Register for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten using Beanstack. On a computer, select the Beanstack icon above to get started. Using a smartphone, download the Beanstack app and register through the app.

We've created a Booklist with 100 Books to Read before Kindergarten recommendations. Some recommended books to get you started: 100 Books to Read before Kindergarten

  • Read together

  • Color or check off an acorn for each book you read or log the book through your online account through Beanstack.

  • If you read a book more than once, you can record it each time. Books read at library story time, at daycare, or by others to your child also count!

  • When you finish 100 books, bring your sheet to the library and have it stamped “completed.” Collect your next page. If you're keeping track through Beanstack, come in after you've received an online "badge."

  • Repeat the steps at each level.

  • Earn special rewards along the way!


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