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Reading aloud to young children is the best way to get them ready to read.
Alaska's 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge encourages family bonding while helping young children to develop the skills that will help them become successful lifelong readers.
Click on the button below to get started and help your child become ready to read!
Across Alaska, libraries and librarians make a commitment to kindergarten readiness by encouraging all preschool-aged children to read 1,000 books before kindergarten. It’s a realistic goal: grown-ups can share two to three picture books with their child in about 20 minutes, and if done daily, that can add up to 1,000 books in just a single year! That means that even if children sign up at age four, they can still meet their goal before kindergarten begins.
Reading at home increases a child's reading readiness. When you read aloud with a child on a routine basis, they develop a strong vocabulary, learn about the world around them, practice their letter and sound recognition, and so much more. Sharing books with children before school begins can contribute to the prevention of reading difficulties in school and create lifelong learning habits.
Families can participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge in a variety of ways. Your local library may have paper logs that you can fill out to keep track of each book read and maybe even earn rewards (ask your local library for details). You can also participate in Alaska's statewide 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge online using the sign up button above.
The program itself is simple: as you spend time reading with your child, keep track of the number of books you share with them or that they listen to during library storytimes. Each time you read a book counts toward the goal, so if your little one has a favorite that you read over and over again, each reading counts toward the goal.
Alaska libraries who want to create their own spin on the program locally can use the materials below for their own reading program. Each reading log has sufficient space for you to label or stamp your library's name and address to personalize your logs. Artwork for the program was made by Lee Post. Alaska Northwest Books and the Friends of the Anchorage Public Library are sponsors of the program, and Anchorage Public Library is providing the artwork free of charge to all Alaska libraries to use.
With a local program, you can make it your own by tying it to something unique about your community. Don't forget to celebrate your successes! You can host an annual party for finishers, hand out a book prize, or feature finishers in a newsletter.
If you or your families need extra help finding enough books to read to reach the goal, you can borrow free reading kits from Ready to Read Alaska. We lend bags of board and picture books ANYWHERE statewide, with free shipping both ways!