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Santa Clara City Library

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

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1000 Books Before Kindergarten at Santa Clara City Library

Did you know? Reading aloud to your child is the best way to prepare them for reading and writing success in school. The time before a child enters kindergarten is crucial for language and brain development, as well as for fostering a lifelong love of reading.

1000 Books for Kindergarten is a free program that encourages you to read one thousand books with your child before he or she begins kindergarten. It's easy, fun, and a great way to bond with your young child.

click here to sign up for 1000 books before kindergarten now



The concept is simple, but the rewards are priceless. Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, or toddler.  The goal is to read 1,000 books (yes, you can repeat books!) before your child starts kindergarten.

Sound hard? Not really if you think about it: If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read 365 books in one year—that’s 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around five, you have more time than you think (so get started)! 


1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a self-paced program and has no end date except your child’s going to school. You decide how often and how long you read. The key is perseverance! Celebrate milestones with us at the library as you make progress, and above all, read and enjoy with your child!

Visit Us

Visit us at the Youth Services Desk at Central Park Library to pick up a keepsake starter packet beginning September 6, 2016. You can also begin now by printing your first reading log or downloading the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten app (iPhone / Android).

Log the Books You Read 

Log the books you read with your child on the log sheet in your starter packet or on the app. You can log any book read to your child—that includes books read by siblings, teachers, and librarians, as well as re-reads of favorite stories.

Bring in Your Log at Every 100 Book Milestone

At every 100 book milestone, bring your log in to the library. We will celebrate your child’s success and hand out a milestone sticker and a log sheet for the next one hundred books.

When you reach 1,000 books, your child will receive a certificate of achievement and a FREE 1000 Books Before Kindergarten book bag.


Program Instructions

Reading Log Sheets


Book Lists

More Information about Early Literacy


Who can participate in this program?

 Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten can participate.

How long will the program take?

The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together.

How many of my children can participate?

All of them (provided they have not yet started kindergarten). Make it even more fun and read as a family!

Do we have to read books from the library?

No, you can read books from anywhere. Just remember to log them on your log or the app!

Can I count a book more than once?

You can! Record the book as many times as you read it! 


1000 Books Before Kindergarten is made possible with the generous support 
of the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends

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