WRL has just launched its first 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which asks parents to read 1,000 books to their little one between the day they come home for the first time and the day they head off to school for their first day of kindergarten. The program is based on a nationwide initiative led by the 1000 Books Foundation, a nonprofit that shares information and resources with libraries, schools, churches, and other nonprofit entities interested in bringing the the challenge to their communities.

The rules of the challenge are simple: just read a book — any book — to your child (repeat reads count too!). Though getting through 1,000 books may sound like a tall order, it’s actually more doable than it may first appear. Reading just one book a night, you could finish the challenge in under three years — and even accounting for a night off here and there, families should find they have plenty of time to get the challenge done before kindergarten begins.

Keeping track of your progress easier and more fun than ever with the help of Beanstack. This online reading log service offers fun virtual badges as incentives to keep kids motivated as they watch their collection grow, and many families are already familiar with the site from using it during WRL’s annual Summer Reading Program. In addition to virtual badges, the library is also offering two tangible prizes to mark each family’s progress in the challenge. When you reach 500 books, WRL will add a book to our collection with a special name plate that recognizes your child, and when you reach 1,000, we’ll add another.

Additionally, WRL plans to hold an annual “graduation” to celebrate those families who have completed the challenge any time over the course of the previous year. The first “class” of graduates will be honored in September 2021 with a special event that will feature a short ceremony, refreshments, and special guests and activities that celebrate the joy of reading and learning.

Sign-ups are open now at Beanstack, or call 757.741.3300, option 4 for more information.

Pre-K girl reading