1001 Before Grade One

About the Program

What is 1001 Before Grade One?

Make reading fun! Take our challenge to read 1001 stories with your child before they enter grade one. Pick up your 1001 Before Grade One reading package at your local library. Each package includes a tote bag, book, reading tracker, bookmark, and a magnet. Each completed tracking sheet moves you 100 stories closer to your goal. For every 100 stories you read, your child will earn a stamp! There are also special prizes for reaching 500 and 1001 stories.

Why 1001 stories?

Children’s author Mem Fox has said, “Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!” And it’s true.

Research shows that children who are read to regularly at home grow up to have a greater enjoyment and higher confidence in their reading and writing. This tends to mean they are more successful in school and ultimately more successful in life.

How will 1001 benefit your child?

Along with building critical literacy and language skills, reading regularly to your child will:

  • Spark their imagination
  • Improve their listening  and language abilities
  • Teach them about the world around them
  • Give them a strong foundation for success in school
  • Promote the bond between you and your child
  • Help them sleep better (yes, really)
  • Plus, it’s fun!

You can sign up by visiting your library.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Program

Reading 1001 books takes less time than you would think:

  • If you read one book with your child each day, you’ll be finished in less than three years.
  • If you read two books a day, you’ll be finished in under 18 months.
  • If you read three books a day, you’ll be finished in less than a year!

However, the goal isn’t to complete the program as quickly as you can. The goal is to make reading together a regular part of your child’s life.

Once you create the habit of reading in your home you will fly through 1001 stories. 

Stamps are awarded for every 100 books, but you’re encouraged to come to the library whenever you want! You can also bring in multiple completed tracking sheets at a time. 

These things happen! Download a new tracking sheet and colour in the number of books that you’ve already read (to the best of your memory).

Congratulations on reaching 1001!

You are more than welcome to continue printing off tracking sheets and colouring in icons, but we aren’t able to award any additional stamps or prizes once you’ve completed 1001. 

Check out other fun things to do at the library to ensure reading stays an important part of your child’s daily life.

About the books

A story can be anything!

Including but not limited to:

  • a book you or someone else reads to your child
  • an oral story that you tell to your child
  • a book your child hears at Storytime, daycare, or preschool
  • an eBook that you and your child read together on a computer or tablet
  • an audiobook that you and your child listen to together 

It’s great that you’ve already made reading a habit in your family! You can only count books that you read with your child after you have signed up for the program. 

Absolutely! Most children go through a developmental stage between the age of 2 and 3 where they want to read the same books over, and over, and over again. While it might seem tedious, this is a major milestone! Repetition is an important learning tool, so count every time you read a book, even if you read the same book twenty times. 

You can read anything that interests you and your child. If you are having trouble choosing books, you can check out some of our suggestions. Or ask your library staff for recommendations.

When children grow up with positive reading experiences, they are more likely to become successful readers. Make sure shared reading is an enjoyable experience for everyone!

A few suggestions:

  • Snuggle up together.
  • Let your child help pick the books they want to read.
  • Take your time looking at the pictures.
  • Ask questions and talk with your child while you’re reading.
  • Re-read their favourites.
  • Recognize that sometimes it’s better to stop and read at another time. Or, if they want to move around while you read—that’s okay too!

Yes! We recommend that you sit with your child while they are listening to the stories though. Children gain more benefit from electronic books and stories when they share them with an adult. This is because the adult can boost their learning by asking questions and talking with them about the story. 

Yes! Young children have varying attention spans and not all books will interest all readers. Sometimes young children also just need to move and play.

If your child is losing focus, try interesting them in the mechanics of the book instead. Show them how to open and close the book, and turn the pages. Let them practice doing this themselves. The thick pages on board books are great for young children to try this.

If you need to stop the book and start it again another time, that’s completely fine. It’s more important that shared reading time is a positive experience for you and your child than that you finish every book you start.

Book Lists

If you are having trouble choosing books to read, here are some of our top picks for each age.


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Want to boost your child’s learning even more? Our monthly newsletter features a section on early literacy tips and tricks, and suggestions for literacy activities you can do at home.  It also features up and coming programming and events at the library.

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