Decatur Public Library

504 Cherry Street
Decatur, Al 35601

Currently Open

The goal of this FREE program is to encourage you to read 1,000 books with your child before he or she starts kindergarten. 


The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless.  Read a book (any book) to your newborn infant and/or toddler.  The goal is to have read 1,000 books (yes, you can repeat books) before your precious one starts kindergarten.

Does it sound hard?  Not really if you think about it.  If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year.  That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years.  If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think (so get started).

The key is perseverance.  Make it exciting! When your child reaches a milestone, give him/her a small reward (stickers, backpacks, books).

How to participate in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1. Register: Sign up at Decatur Public Library’s Youth Services Desk .

2. Track Your Reading: Pick up a reading log for the first 100 books (or print one from the links below). Write down each book you read with your child on your reading record.

3. Every Book Counts: Even if your child wants to hear the same book again and again, you can count it each time.

As long as your child listens to the entire book, you can also count the books your child hears:

      • in Story Times/Book Babies at DPL
      • in daycare or preschool
      • at church
      • with a friend
      • from siblings, aunts/uncles, & grandparents

4.  100-Book Milestones: Each time you read 100 books, bring your reading record to the library Youth Services desk to receive a special reward. Take home a new reading log for your next 100 books.

5.  When you reach 1,000 Books: You did it! Come celebrate at the library, see your child’s name placed on the 1,000 Book Wall of Fame in our Story Hour Room, and receive a free book.

6.  Graduate: Each year we hold a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten graduation ceremony for children who have completed their 1000 books that year.   (Kids who finish anytime after that date will be invited to the ceremony the following year.)

Now keep on Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000! Keep on reading together; there’s more learning ahead!

This information and more is available at

The following are printable book logs for each level of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.  Of course they are not required; you can keep track of the books you read to your child in whatever way is convenient.  These are  just here if you’d like to use them!

For more help with early literacy skills: