1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

kids reading on 1000 Books Before Kindergarten logo

What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a free program that encourages you to read 1,000 books with your child(ren) before they start kindergarten. Experts agree that sharing books with children often is the best and simplest way to help them prepare to read and learn. 

man holding free sign - free books when signing up for 1000 Books Before KindergartenHow Does 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Work?   

1.) Register for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program with a children’s librarian at an OCPL branch or library.

New registrants receive a free book. 

You can find the OCPL library closest to you here.

2.) Read.   

  • Being read to by a grown-up or older child counts.  

  • The books a child reads on their own count.   

  • Repeat reads count. The Very Hungry Caterpillar read 50 times counts for 50 books.   

  • Storytimes at your favorite library count. Find a storytime at a city branch now.  

3.) Log your reading. 

Record your reading by marking the stars on the log sheet given to you by your librarian.  

4.) Report your progress at every 100-book milestone.   

For every 100 books read, your child will earn an incentive, like a sticker, small toy, or book.  

5.) Complete the 1,000 books program.   

Upon completing the program, every child will receive a 1,000 Books book bag. 

Kids books you can read  for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program

How Do I Sign Up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?


Visit the children’s librarian at the library closest to you to sign up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.

Browse all library locations in Onondaga County

Frequently Asked Questions

Do We Have to Read 1,000 Different Books?   

Board books you can read for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

No. For example, reading The Cat in the Hat 50 times counts as reading 50 books.   

1,000 Books Sounds Like a Lot, How Can We Do This?  

This program is entirely doable.   


  • 1 book per day for 1 year = 365 books.   

  • 3 books a day for 1 year = 1,095 books  

  • 7 books per week for 3 years = 1,092 books. 

Is My Library Participating in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?