Sonoma County Library Launches New Early Literacy Program

Submitted by kgore on November 5, 2019 - 9:42am
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    1000 Books Before Kindergarten helps parents and caregivers give young children the confidence necessary to become strong readers and be successful in school and life. Pictured: Healdsburg Library.

Read to a kid and you’ll prepare them for a lifetime of reading. In an effort to promote strong literacy skills, the Sonoma County Library is encouraging parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to their newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers before they start kindergarten. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide initiative and officially launched in all Sonoma County Library branches on October 28.

Participants can track their reading and participation in the program online at and through the Beanstack app. Paper logs are also available at each branch. Children will receive recognition for each 100 books they read and various prizes throughout their reading journey.

Sonoma County Library patron Autumn Ashforth and her husband have been reading books to their son, Bromley, since he was born.

“Now at 14 months of age, [Bromley] loves to bring us several books at a time and listen to us read to him. We are incredibly excited for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative,” Ashforth said. “Not only do we love a challenge, especially one that brings about positive outcomes, but we will be building a foundation for early literacy and learning in school. We want Bromley to love to read not just because it’s fun, but because he can let his imagination run wild!”

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Town of Windsor Montessori Preschool Teacher Michelle Vassallo supports the program as well and encourages parents and caregivers to participate in the initiative to read 1000 books to their children before entering kindergarten.

“The benefits are immeasurable,” Vassallo said. “Reading to preschoolers promotes cognitive skills at a fundamental time of development; receptive and expressive language skills; an ability to relate to characters and develop a sense of empathy; knowledge, imagination, curiosity, concentration, enjoyment and creativity; a bonding experience between parent and child; and success in school and life.”

Each 1000 Books Before Kindergarten participant will receive a free book bag and milestone sticker at their first 100 books and participating children’s names will be displayed at their branch and recorded in Beanstack for every 100 books logged. At 1000 books, children will receive a certificate of completion and a free book.

Sign up for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at or by visiting your local library branch. The program is free and open to all. 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is made possible by the Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries.

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