The Oregon City Public Library is excited to announce a new program to help young children develop critical early literacy skills and become lifelong readers. Our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, kicking off in January 2022, will help give parents, caregivers, and kids the tools and support they need to create young readers.
While most kids start public school around age five, research shows that kids' brains are undergoing an incredible amount of development long before that. The brain develops most rapidly during the first 1,000 days of a child's life, with toddlers' brains creating up to 2,000,000 new connections every second. By age three, a child's brain has reached 80% of its adult volume.
Developing key early literacy skills before the age of five has a lifelong impact on kids' educational and occupational success. In fact, the most important predictor of school success is being read to at home by parents or caregivers during early childhood.
Upon registration for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, participants will receive a welcome kit including a tote bag and free book to keep. Caregivers track the number of books they read with their child using Beanstack, a free website and iOS/Android app. In addition to monthly prize drawings for active readers, every child earns an additional free book at the 500 and 1,000 book milestones.
If 1,000 books sound like a lot of books, don't worry! Reading just one book a day to your kids will help you reach the 1,000-book goal in about three years. And along the way, we'll be here to help with tips and tricks for reading with kids, ideas for reading activities you can do together, and other resources to make reading a favorite family activity.
Our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is made possible by the generous support of the Oregon City Library Foundation and the Friends of the Oregon City Library. We are grateful for their continued support as we work to create young readers throughout our entire library service area. We're looking forward to this program's January start and to celebrating the young readers it helps create!