All children, any age before kindergarten, are welcome to join the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten club.
A large, paper caterpillar on the wall in the library's Children's Room is the theme character for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten literacy program, a free program that provides families with opportunities to prepare their small children for kindergarten.
Participants receive a binder in which to write down the titles they have read. After completing 100 books, they educational CDs and a sticker to place on the hungry caterpillar. When they complete 1,000 books, they get to place a sticker on the big paper butterfly also on a wall in the Children's Room. They receive other incentives as well as a certificate of completion and a chance to participate in a graduation ceremony.
"Studies have shown that if a child has had at least 1,000 books read to them before kindergarten that they are not only ready for kindergarten but have an advantage going into kindergarten," says Children's Supervisor Kathryn Beson. "Too often kids go to kindergarten without simple cultural literacy, like knowing Mother Goose rhymes, how to hold a book, or colors and numbers".
The 1,000 books program helps children develop that cultural literacy as well as a high level of conceptual understanding. The program also fosters a bond between parent and child.