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Library activities

1000 books before school

Reading just 10 minutes a day can instil a lifelong love of books and learning in young children. The more a child is read to in their preschool years, the better prepared they are when they learn to read and write.

Why read 1000 books before school?

Early literacy skills are essential building blocks for lifelong learning beyond primary and high school.

Research shows that reading to a child, 6 and 7 times a week, develops their literacy skills up to a year above those who are not.

It’s easier than you might think to read 1000 books.

If you read three books a day, you can read more than 1000 books in a year. If you read just one book a day, you will finish in less than 3 years.

Repetition is great for developing early literacy skills, so if you read the same book more than once, you can count it each time you read.

How 1000 books works

Step 1

Complete the online form below to sign up. We will send you a Reading Record and stickers. You need to be a Mitchell Shire Library member to join. Not a member? Sign up for a library membership.

Step 2

Have fun with marking, colouring or placing a sticker on your Reading Record each time you read with your child.

Step 3

Each time you reach a milestone, send us a photo of your Reading Record for a special reward to be posted to you.

When you get to 1000 books, send us a photo of your Reading Record for a special reward to be posted to you.

Email your photos to libraries@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au.

Every book counts

Every book that your child completes, or actively listens to, counts. This includes stories read at Storytime sessions, day-care and kindergarten, even the same book over and over again.

You don't have to buy every book. In fact, we recommend that you borrow a book from your local library or visit Storybox to read and listen to books online.

Reading 1000 books before school is the goal, but every time you read with your child you are helping them build essential skills for life. Happy Reading!

How to register

You can register for 1000 Books Before School via the registration form below, or by contacting us at any Mitchell Shire Library. You need to be a Mitchell Shire Library member to join.

You can download the Reading Record from the PDFs below to record your reading progress.

1000 books registration form

Record sheet downloads

FAQs

Libraries are currently closed and we're self-isolating at home. Can we still participate?

Absolutely! Please contact one of our Mitchell Shire Libraries Branches for assistance.

How old does my child have to be to start the program?

Your child can start at any time as long as they have not started school. The earlier you start, the longer you have to complete the program.

I want all my children to participate. Do they each need a library card?

Only one card is needed to register. You can join up each child as member if you wish, but it is not necessary.

Can I count books I read to my child before I registered?

No - the program begins for your family on the day you register, and you only count books you read the day you register.

My child likes to read the same book over and over again. How do I count that?

Repetition is important for learning. You mark or colour in a circle in your reading record every time you read a book. If you read the same book 10 times, you mark or colour in 10 circles.

Do I have to do all the reading?

No. It’s important for children to hear stories from a range of people. Any story they read can be counted. Don’t forget to count the stories read at library Storytime, and if your child is in childcare, you can ask the centre how many stories they read.

Do the books have to be library books?

As long as your child listens to the whole book, it counts. You can download many children’s eBooks from Mitchell Shire Libraries. You can also listen and watch stories being read on Story Box website Library.

My child likes to listen to books on the computer/iPad/eReader/etc. Can I count them?

As long as your child listens to the whole book, it counts. You can download many children’s eBooks from Mitchell Shire Libraries. You can also listen and watch stories being read on Story Box website Library.

What if my child starts school and hasn’t finished the program?

You have until the end of term 1 of the year your child starts school to finish your reading.

This page was last updated on 6 January 2022.