Young Reader Reaches Milestone
October 27, 2021
Partners in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten literacy program since January of this year, Harlem Public Library staff are proud to announce an award-winning reader. Josey Sather, the daughter of Michelle and Chris Sather, has reached a major milestone in her reading career.
Along with her parents and grandparents, Josey has read over 500 books since participating in the Harlem Library's 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program. For reaching her halfway mark, Josey received a shirt with the 1000 Books logo printed on it by The Clothing Company of Harlem.
According to Assistant Librarian Carly Vauthier, parents log the books they read to their child. "All libraries do it differently, but we decided we'd celebrate our readers at 500 and 1000 books. It's a free program, and parents can sign up their children using the READSquared app or even by just tracking books with tallies or other types of logging," she explained.
Founded in 2013, the 1000 Books Foundation is a Nevada 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity that promotes reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers. Through the program, the Foundation seeks not only to encourage parent-child bonding through reading but to support school readiness and instill a lifelong love of reading. The 1000 Books Foundation helps to facilitate the implementation of the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten reading challenge across the nation and in Canada.
The Foundation formed as a response to numerous studies which estimate that as many as one in five children have difficulties learning to read. Given that formal reading instruction typically begins around age five or six, intervention was called for. This involved educating parents and caregivers-a child's first teachers during the critical years of 0-5-about the importance of reading and its role as an early indicator of academic success.
By providing resources, activities, reading tips for parents/caregivers, and an app called READsquared, the Foundation makes establishing strong early literacy skills their goal. Attaining that goal is a manageable endeavor because it simply means reading a book-any book-to a child with the intention of reaching the target total of 1,000 before kindergarten. While that total may initially sound daunting, reading a book a day translates to 365 books a year, so a child can easily reach 1000 in the time frame outlined.
Although initial funding for the 1000 Books Foundation was provided through private charitable contributions from the Luh and Borghese Families of Las Vegas, the Foundation has received literacy grants in the amount of $10,000 from the Elkes Foundation for the past four years to promote their mission.
The Blaine County Library in Chinook is also a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten literacy program partner. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact the local library staff. Additional information can also be obtained by visiting the Foundation's website, 1000booksbeforekindergarten.org.