1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Read Together, Be Together

A Literacy Program for Pre-readers

The Kern County Library is excited to offer a fun, easy, and FREE program that promotes reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers. We encourage parents to bond with their children through reading. 

Our goal is to help parents understand the importance of literacy even before children can read. Reading to young children gives them the confidence necessary to become strong readers in the future. 

What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

We have provided a simple, innovative yet fun approach to establishing strong early literacy skills. Our program is designed to get your youngest children interested in reading. When you read just one book a day with a child every day for a year, that’s 365 books a year and 1,095 books by the time a child reaches their third birthday!

By reading together it helps children garner critical literacy skills, and is a wonderful opportunity for family members to connect and spend time with their children. With milestone achievement certificates and prizes, our program guides parents to accomplishing their 1,000 book goal!

Register, Read and Reach the Goal

Join our reading challenge by registering for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten early literacy program online and start tracking the books you read together!
Any time your child reads a book – or you read a book to them – log it online or on the paper log. We encourage re-reading your child’s favorite book because each reading of the book counts. If you read “I Love Trucks!” four times, log that as four books.

Reading Rewards Are Priceless! How Do I Participate?

Your Child’s First Library Card:

Sign your child up for their first Kern County Library card! Then, register for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program to receive a FREE lanyard. This is a perfect spot for your little one to store their library card!

Track your child’s progress:

Enjoy one-on-one reading with your child and track how many books you’ve read together with two tracking options!

  • One is with our adorable reading log available at all Kern County Library branches or you can also Download it PDF icon here. 
  • You can also track you and your child’s reading through the FREE Tracker app. It is easy to use, has an ISBN scan feature, and you can manage all the readers in your family in one account. Available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Earn Rewards for Reading:

Every time you and your child finish reading 100 books together, color the KCL reading log or log it online on Beanstack. Then, stop by your local library branch to receive a button! Earn up to 10 buttons!


Once you and your child have completed reading 1,000 books together, your child can pick up their certificate of completion at the Kern County Library!

Tips for Sharing Books with Pre-Schoolers

Create a book-rich environment by keeping books throughout the home, the car, or the diaper bag. This will provide children with easy access and more opportunities to read or listen to books.
When reading talk about the pictures in the book, the shapes, colors, and the actions that are happening. 
Attend a storytime at your library! All Kern County Library branches offer Family Storytime with songs, dance, and books to keep your little one happily engaged! Discover our events by visiting out KCL Calendar, here
dad reading to preschooler

The Importance of Reading Early

Research shows that sharing books, conversations, and songs with young children builds language skills. This type of sharing contributes to children’s healthy development, provides skills to succeed in school, and helps assure that they will learn to love reading.

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