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Early Literacy

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” —Emilie Buchwald

The Library Can Help Your Child Succeed in School

  • The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is designed to help caregivers prepare children for one of life’s big milestones: kindergarten.
  • Studies have shown that families who start reading aloud to their children at birth help strengthen their language skills and build their vocabulary.

How the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program Works

  1. Any child who hasn’t entered kindergarten yet is eligible for the program, including infants.
  2. Once your child has heard 25 books, sign him or her up at any Fairfax County Public Library branch and receive a packet of information with reading logs. Packets are available in English and Spanish.
  3. Track your reading. At the following milestones, return to any Fairfax County Public Library branch to receive a prize.

100 Books | 250 Books | 500 Books | 750 Books | 1,000 Books

The goal is for your child to read or be read 1,000 books before he or she enters kindergarten. Reading unique titles or a child’s favorite book multiple times all count toward the 1,000 goal—we know children like repetition. Hearing books at storytimes also counts to the 1,000 book goal.

The library has excellent early literacy resources for preschoolers including book suggestions and an early literacy newsletter.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten App

The national 1,000 Books program offers a mobile app.

For more information please ask staff at your local library or call (703) 324-8319.

Fairfax County Public Library is grateful to the following organizations for their support of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program:

Fairfax Library Foundation provided funding for the program.

The following Friends Groups have sponsored one of our prizes, many thanks to all of them:

  • Friends of the Burke Centre Library
  • Friends of the Centreville Regional Library
  • Friends of the Chantilly Regional Library
  • Friends of the City of Fairfax Regional Library
  • Friends of the Dolley Madison Library
  • Friends of the George Mason Regional Library
  • Friends of the Great Falls Library
  • Friends of the Herndon Fortnightly Library
  • Friends of the John Marshall Library
  • Friends of the Kings Park Library
  • Friends of the Kingstowne Library
  • Friends of the Lorton Library
  • Friends of the Martha Washington Library
  • Friends of the Oakton Library
  • Friends of the Patrick Henry Library
  • Friends of the Pohick Regional Library
  • Friends of the Reston Regional Library
  • Friends of the Richard Byrd Library
  • Friends of the Sherwood Regional Library
  • Friends of the Thomas Jefferson Library
  • Friends of the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
  • Friends of the Woodrow Wilson Library

Thanks also to Scholastic Literacy Partnerships for its support of the program.

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