Earlier this year, the Newton Public Library launched a new program, “1000 Books Before Kindergarten”. It is a nationwide program in which many public libraries are participating. The program’s purpose is to encourage parents and caretakers to make daily reading with their child a habit.

Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to at home during early childhood.
This program is important because the brain develops more rapidly during the first three years of a child’s life than at any other time during the lifespan. Further, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading. Caretakers may register children as young as newborn and start tracking books read with either the “1000 Books” app (which allows them to scan the book’s bar code to keep track of titles read) or they may use a paper book log provided by the library. It is okay to count the same title multiple times- some children love having the same book read to them over and over again!

The library gives out a sticker for each 100 book milestone, and at 500 books, the child receives a book to keep from the library, and their picture on the library’s Facebook page. At 1000 books, the child receives a Dr. Seuss book bag filled with items for kindergarten readiness! So far, the Newton Public Library has had four children finish the program, which began in January of 2016! Seventy children are currently registered.

The program is ongoing; the only deadline is completion by the time the child starts kindergarten. It only takes reading one book a day to finish the program by age three! What better way to give your child the best start in life? Stop by the library any time to register!