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WHAT?  1000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages families and caregivers to read 1000 books with their young children before they enter kindergarten.

WHY?  Reading to your child is an excellent way to prepare for kindergarten.  Studies have shown that families who start reading aloud to their children at birth help strengthen language skills and build vocabulary–two important tools when children begin learning to read in kindergarten.


How Does it Work?

1.  Register at the Washington Public Library or online at (

2.  Come to the library and check out books-- you can choose one of our prepackaged 1000 Books Before Kindergarten backpacks filled with 10 books OR pick out your own books from our collection

3.  Log your child's progress online with Beanstack or with the paper reading logs available at the Washington Public Library (or use both!).  Books read during storytime, at daycare or preschool all count!

4.  If you choose to log online, you can either access the Beanstack site from your computer or download the Beanstack app from your App store to your phone or tablet.  

4.  At each milestone, your child will receive a prize:

  • 100 Books:  1000 Books Before Kindergarten Lanyard and Library Card holder.  Receive your 100 Books "Brag Tag" to add to your lanyard! You'll receive a "Brag Tag" to add to the lanyard at the 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900 Book milestones!)
  • 250 Books:  Choose a book to add to your child's home library from our Book Treasure Chest
  • 500 Books:  Receive a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Book bag
  • 750 Books: Choose a book to add to your child's home library from our Book Treasure Chest
  • 1000 Books:  You did it! We'll take your child's picture to add to our Reading Wall of Honor!  Your child can also choose their favorite book from our collection and we'll add a bookplate to it with their name, celebrating their accomplishment!  To top it off-- choose another book for your home library!


1000 Books before Kindergarten is generously funded by the Washington Free Public Library Foundation through a grant received from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation, as well as from funding received from the Brinton Trust and the Delores J. Siegle memorial fund. If you are interested in donating so we can continue to provide books and other incentives for participating families please address donations to: Washington Free Public Library Foundation, 115 W Washington St, Washington, IA  52353 ATTN: 1000 Books before Kindergarten.