This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of Waukesha Public Library.

Welcome to the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (1KB4K) program!

Early Literacy describes what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. In 2014, Waukesha Public Library started offering an early literacy program called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. This free program encourages parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books with your child before he or she enters school.

One of the best ways to encourage learning is to spend time sharing books every day. Reading together helps develop important pre-reading skills that provide a solid foundation for success in school and elementary learning. Plus, sharing stories together is fun!

Participating is Easy!

  1. Register your child at the Childen’s Reference Desk.
  2. Read together.
  3. Color in the shapes and write ten titles on your 1KB4K_road_to_reading log. If you read a book more than once, you can record it each time. Books read to your child at library storytime, at daycare or by others also count!
  4. When you finish 100 books, bring your sheet to the library and collect a book bag and your next 1KB4K_road_to_reading log. Share your favorite books with your librarian.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 and receive a different 1KB4K_road_to_reading log at each level. Each log will include early literacy tips to help you share the love of reading with your child.
  6. After finishing 1,000 books, your child receives a book, and gets an awesome jumpstart on success in school.

Take every chance you have to read with your children, tell and talk about stories, say nursery rhymes, sing songs, and attend library programs. By reading just three stories a day you and your child will have read over 1,000 books in one year. You will also have shared many special moments along the way. The library is a fun place featuring books to check out, free programs and great suggestions for what to read next. Stop in often and talk to our friendly staff – we are here to help.

Please stop by the library or give us a call if you have any questions.

Happy reading!

Six Early Literacy Skills

Narrative Skills: 
Tell stories together, encourage pretend play, and let your child be a storyteller.

Letter Knowledge: Help your child identify the first letter in his/her name and find it in books, or street signs and package labels.

Print Awareness: Help your child discover how to hold a book and turn the pages.

Phonological Awareness: Sing songs play games and share rhymes to help your child play with similar sounds in words.

Print Motivation: Find books that match your child’s interests and share them often.

Vocabulary: Teach your child the specific names of things, like vegetables found at the grocery store.


Other Early Literacy Resources

“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children” –Commission on Reading, Department of Education


Growing Wisconsin Readers is a statewide initiative rooted in public libraries that aims to support Wisconsin caregivers of young children with information about early literacy so they can prepare children for learning at school and beyond.


Every Child Ready to Read incorporates simple practices, based on research, to help parents and other caregivers develop early literacy skills in children from birth to age five.