1000 Books Before Kindergarten



On behalf of the Central Arkansas Library System and the 1,000 Books Foundation, we invite you to participate in this free program which encourages you to read 1,000 books with your child before he or she starts kindergarten.


It Starts With One Book

1000 Books at CALS

The concept is simple; the rewards are priceless. Read a book (any book) to your baby, toddler, or preschooler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books (yes, you can repeat books) before your precious one starts kindergarten. It may sound hard, but think about it this way: If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think, but it’s time to get started.

The key is perseverance. Make it exciting. When your child reaches a milestone, give him/her a small reward (stickers, backpacks, books). Be sure and visit the library and pick up a sticker each time your child reads 100 books. When you have read 1000 books, the library will give your child a free book for your home library!

Read. Record. Repeat.

1000 Books at CALS

Participation in the program is easy. All participants have to do is read with a child and track the titles of the books that have been read.

  • CALS will provide log sheets for each participant and issue stickers for every 100 books read.
  • Once 10 stickers are collected, a prize will be given to that participant. Any child from birth to entering kindergarten may participate.
  • The program is self-paced; log sheets may be downloaded below or at any CALS branch location.

Printable Logs and Lists

Reading logs: Books 1-100 | Books 101-200 | Books 201-300 | Books 301-400 | Books 401-500 | Books 501-600 | Books 601-700 | Books 701-800 | Books 801-900 | Books 901-1000

Reading list: 100 Books to Get You Started

The following list of 100 titles is simply to help get you started toward 1000 books. You are not required to read any of these books to participate in our 1000 Books program.

Who can participate in this program?

1000 Books at CALS

Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten can participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

How long will the program take?

The program will take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together.

How many of my children can participate?

All of them (provided they have not yet started kindergarten). Make it even more fun and read as a family!

How do I track my child's progress?

Print the log forms listed below, or pick them up at any CALS branch location.

Books 1-100 | Books 101-200 | Books 201-300 | Books 301-400 | Books 401-500 | Books 501-600 | Books 601-700 | Books 701-800 | Books 801-900 | Books 901-1000