Back to top

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 books before kindergarten website header

Mid-Continent Public Library, in cooperation with the 1000 Books Foundation, invites you to participate in this free program which encourages you to read 1,000 books with your children before they start kindergarten.

Complete the challenge and your child will be eligible to win a family four-pack of tickets to SEA LIFE Aquarium.


If you read just one book a night, you will read 365 books in a year. In two years, the number will grow to 730. In the third year, you will surpass the goal at 1,095 books. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at age 5 or 6, you have more time than you think and it’s never too late to start!

Why participate?

Studies have shown that reading with your child provides a great opportunity for bonding. Reading together is fun and will create life-long memories for both of you, whether you are reading books your family owns, picking them out on a visit to the library, or downloading them onto an e-reader device. Experts agree that children who learn the necessary skills early do better in school and later in life. Participating in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten can help put your child on the right track.

How does the program work?

  • Pick out books at home or at the Library and start reading to your pre-kindergarten age child today!
  • Keep track of the titles of the books you read or that a care-giver or family member might read to your child.
Grow A Reader Alien named Paige
Paige loves to read and learn new words. She is so excited to read when she gets up in the morning that she doesn’t always check

Attending storytime or participating in the Summer Reading Program at the Library also counts towards your total! You may read a book multiple times if it’s a family favorite. The book logs will make a great keepsake item for your child later on.

You can track books by:

Bring each completed 100-book log to an MCPL branch, or if logging online, speak to a branch staff member to pick up your completion certificate. Commemorate your child’s achievement at each 100-book milestone!

What happens when we complete 1,000 books?

Your child will receive a special completion award and certificate for display in your home. Also, the month your child’s name will be entered into a monthly drawing along with other 1000 Book program finishers for a four-pack of tickets to SEA LIFE Kansas City. Best of all, you and your child will feel the pride of accomplishment of reaching this goal together.

I have questions!

Who can participate?

Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten can participate in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Do we have to read 1,000 different books?

You may repeat titles as often as you like. The purpose of the program is to spend the time reading together.

How long will the program take?

The program can take anywhere from a few months or a few years. The program allows you as the parent to set the pace and when you finish will depend on how often you read together.

How many of my children can participate?

If you have more than one child that is pre-kindergarten age, all may participate and can count books on individual logs.

Our family has had a great experience with the program. How can I share our story with the Library?

We’d love to share your story! Visit our Library Stories and tell us your story in your own words.

Show us what you’re reading!

Post book photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #mcplGAR

Was this page helpful?
If you would like a response, please use the Talk to Us form below.