Newton – Parents and caregivers are invited to participate in the Catawba County Library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge and give their little ones a powerful learning advantage.

Most of a baby’s important brain development happens in the first 2000 days of life. The 1000 Books program is incentive-based and encourages reading with your child. Your shared reading experience promotes bonding, establishes strong literacy skills, and helps your child gain the confidence necessary to become a strong reader. It also invites parents to sing, talk, read, write, and play with their children by sharing songs and rhymes.

The concept is simple. Read a book to your newborn, infant, or toddler with a goal of completing 1000 books before your child starts kindergarten. If you read one book each day, you will have read 365 books in a year. At that rate, you will have completed 1000 books in three years. Since most children start kindergarten at the age of 5, you have more time than you might imagine to reach your goal.

To help families establish reading together as an important activity and to introduce children to a greater variety of reading materials, the Library has mapped out an easy process:

Sign up for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten at your local Catawba County Library branch (Newton, Claremont, Conover, Maiden, Sherrills Ford-Terrell, Southwest, or St. Stephens).

Pick up a free starter kit, which includes everything you need: reading logs, stickers, book suggestions, program guidelines, tips for effective reading and developmental characteristics for babies and toddlers.

Read often to your child (yes, you can repeat books).

Keep track of the number of books you read together, either on the printed logs or online using the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten app, available on iTunes or Google Play.

Bring your child to Ready to Learn Storytime sessions at the Library and include those books on your reading log.

Take advantage of great digital resources for children’s books and music, like TumbleBooks, NC Kids, the NC Digital Library, and Hoopla. They’re all free and available online 24/7!

After each 100 books you read, bring your reading log to the library for recognition and a prize. You’ll also pick up your reading log for the next 100 books.

When you’ve completed all 1000 books, bring in your reading log for a grand prize and a certificate of achievement. Continue the routine of reading!

When surveyed, 100% of respondents who participated in the 1000 Books program at the Catawba County Library System said they have a better understanding of the value of reading with their children. 97% said they now spend more time reading with their children.

For more information about Catawba County Libraries, visit, call 828.465.8664, email [email protected], or visit them on Facebook.