1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

My husband and I recently welcomed our first baby, Catherine Margaret Small, into the world in early March. We call her “Cate.” I spent a lot of time researching pregnancy and childbirth and preparing the nursery and stocking up on essentials like diapers. Also read and saved a lot of resources on parenting. I thought I was ready. Boy, was I wrong!

I have never been a great sleeper (my mind just doesn’t want to shut off!) so I thought I was prepared to be exhausted. I actually get a decent amount of sleep for a new mom; Cate will sleep for about 6 hours at a time since the first couple of weeks. But no one prepared me for how exhausting it was, mentally, to be responsible for keeping a tiny human alive. You can’t just do anything without thinking about it and questioning if it’s the right thing to do: feeding, bed time routine, treating a cold. It’s like starting a job in a new career field at the executive level. Which is why I love the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program!

Reading with your child and making it a special time together shows them that reading is valuable and enjoyable. You can start to develop a love of reading in your child from a very young age. The best part is…there’s really no wrong way to do it. Any time your child listens to a whole book it counts. It can be a library book, a book from home, a book read at storytime, even an audiobook or e-book. You can even count multiple readings of the same book because they help to develop language skills.

Cate already has a few dozen books under her belt, and those are just the ones I’ve tracked. It feels great knowing that, by completing the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, Cate  will:

· Be better prepared to learn to read

· Have heard more than 30 million words by age three

· Have a significantly larger vocabulary by age six, dramatically impacting reading success

· Score higher on reading, math, and general knowledge tests

I highly recommend the program, and any child who has not yet entered Kindergarten can get started by stopping at the Youth Services desk on their next visit.

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