What is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is an easy, fun, and free online program provided by the Maricopa County Library District to help children 0-5 (we call them prereaders) increase their early literacy skills. Learn more at the ABOUT page.

Why 1,000 books?

A child’s brain is 80% developed in the first 1,000 days of their life (about 3 years) so this time is crucial to begin the foundation for reading and language skills. Reading 1 book a day from 0-3 will not only get your child to 1,000 books before Kindergarten, but set your child up for success later in life. Even if you have started this program later, 1,000 books is still achievable before they start Kindergarten and will still have a lifelong impact on your child.

How do I sign up?

Caregivers can sign up any time online by logging into 1000books.mcldaz.org or by visiting their MCLD library for help signing up.

Who can register?

Any child that has not started Kindergarten can register for the program.

Two types of accounts are possible:

Caregiver* - for the adults facilitating a prereader. These accounts are not eligible for prizes.
Prereader - for the little one aged 5 or under, who will be tracking their reading.

*Caregiver accounts are not required for a prereader to participate. This option allows one adult to track multiple prereaders.

How does it work?

Caregivers will create an account online at 1000books.mcldaz.org and log the number of books read with their prereader in the "enter books read" field. The title and author fields are optional. Paper logs can be used in tandem with the online program so you and your child can mark off books read together.

Can other people read to my child besides me?

Yes! Stories read by anyone in your child’s life counts and is a wonderful bonding experience for all! Don’t forget that stories read in a storytime count too!

Can I read to my child in other languages?

Absolutely! Please read and interact with stories in any language you are comfortable with.

When does my child earn prizes?

We want to make sure you both know how much progress you are making! Prizes will be awarded in your prereader's online account at 25, 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 books read. You can earn many fun early literacy awards as you move closer to 1,000 books! Prizes are available for pick up at your MCLD library and are subject to change so reach out to your library to learn more about the most up to date prizes.

How long does it take to read 1000 books?

It depends on your little one's age & how regularly you read together. Just read the amount that you are comfortable with. Every book makes a difference in your child’s life and it will happen faster than you think!

If you read one book a day, you can read over 1,000 books in 3 years.

If you read ten books a week, you can read over 1,000 books in 2 years.

If you read twenty books a week, you can read over 1,000 books in 1 year.

What should we read?

You can read any type of book and you can read it anywhere! You can re-read the same book over and over. Even library storytime books count!

When does the program end?

While the program has no official end date, your child's end date is their first day of Kindergarten. Don’t rush, take your time and have fun!

My child has reached 1,000 books, now what?

Congratulations! That is wonderful that you have read 1,000 books before Kindergarten! Make sure you visit your MCLD library to pick up their final prize. Please keep reading and join the Summer Reading Program to continue positive reading habits and to earn more prizes.

What are 'Family' accounts?

Family accounts allow one caregiver to manage multiple accounts online using a single username and password. Family accounts allow you to:

My child already has an account. Can I add them to my family account?

To add a member that already has an online account, click on 'Add Existing Participant'. Enter the participant’s username and password and click 'Add Participant.' If you do not know the participant’s username or password, please see library staff for assistance.

What is a group account?

Group accounts allow organizations to create one caregiver account and add prereaders. To join as a group, one caregiver signs up online and under 'My Profile' selects family. Add participants until your 'family' grows to 16 prereaders. The system will prompt you to upgrade to a 'Group'. Groups like childcare centers, group homes, and other organizations can easily manage multiple prereader accounts. There is no limit to the number of members in a group account. If you have a Group, please connect with your MCLD library for information and assistance in participating.

Can I participate in the Summer Reading Program if I am registered for this program?

We hope you do! Although tracking reading and the points milestones are different in the Summer Reading Program, you can participate in both simultaneously.

What if my question isn't answered here?

Please visit your Maricopa County Library District location, contact us online, or call at (602) 652-3000.