1000 Books Before Kindergarten Ready to Launch

After a year of planning, design and fundraising, the Children's Dept is set to launch a multi-year, pre-literacy effort aimed at encouraging families to read at least 1000 books to their preschooler, birth to age 5 before they enter school. Modeled on a pilot program in Indiana, this exciting program is directed by children's librarian project leader Ann Hardginski. Partners in this project include Target, the Friends of the Library, the Menasha Rotary Club and the Menasha Educational Endowment Fund.

Families can sign up beginning March 2. Themed on Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar, each family receives a "Read and Grow" binder, a book bag and pages to record their first 100 books read. After finishing and recording their first 100 books read, families return to the library and receive a CD of songs and nursery rhymes, a new set of pages to record their next 100 titles and two stickers: one to put in their notebook and one to put inside our giant caterpillar in the Children's Dept. Each time a family completes 100 pages they receive a new set of stickers and a new CD -10 in all!

Each set of pages is themed to a different food item that the caterpillar will eat: apple, pear, ice cream cone and so on. Families who finish all 1000 books receive a certificate, a book to keep and the child(ren)'s name will be entered on our giant Butterfly Wall of Fame.

The goals of this project are to help kids enter school ready to learn; to expose them to a wide variety of books and to promote use of the library and it's collections - a treasure trove of free material available to all community members. Click to listen to a short introduction for the project!

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