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Library issues challenge to youngest visitors: Read 1,000 books before kindergarten


How many books have you read this year? Parents and caregivers of infants, toddlers and preschoolers may find the answer is higher than they think. Families can read more than 1,000 books in three years, if they read just one book per day with a child.

Quality reading time is vitally important to building kindergarten readiness and early literacy skills. Cumberland County Public Library is passionate about helping the county’s children achieve early success that will lead to a bright future. That’s why the library is issuing a challenge to the families of children ages birth through 5 years -- read 1,000 books before kindergarten.

While reading is certainly its own reward, we’ve added a little something extra to encourage families to read with the youngest members of their households. Beginning May 1, children from birth to age five can sign up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at any library location and earn prizes for reading.

Participants may pick up a paper log sheet from the Youth Services desk at any library location to help them track their reading. For every 10 books children read or have read to them, they receive a sticker for their log. At every 100-book milestone, readers will receive a prize. Prizes include growth charts, bubbles, bookmarks, sidewalk chalk and more. Finally, when a child returns their final log at 1,000 books, he or she will earn a kindergarten supply kit and placed on the branch’s Wall of Fame.

Any reading done by or to the participating child counts on his or her log. That means readers will get credit for books read to them by other family members, daycare professionals and, of course, library employees at storytime programs.

The first 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program began at the Bremen Public Library in Indiana almost 20 years ago and has since spread nationwide. The Cumberland County library is excited to become a part of this long-running tradition. This program is funded by a grant provided by Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library.

For information about the wide range of library services available to Cumberland County residents, stop by any of our eight locations, call 910-483-7727 or visit cumberlandcountync.gov/library. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/CumberlandCountyPublicLibrary and Instagram @ccplnc.

Samantha Belmont is the youth services librarian at the Bordeaux Community Branch.

Cumberland County, books, children, reading, public library