1000 Books Before School




Why 1000 Books Before School?

Research tells us that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to at home during early childhood. 1000 Books Before School encourages parents and carers to read aloud to their children in the crucial first five years of life. It encourages parents and carers to provide positive early experiences of reading at home, by reading 1000 books with their children before they begin school.

"Read at least three stories a day; it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!" — Mem Fox

The 1000 Books Before School campaign encourages families and children to develop a reading habit. Research shows that ‘home literacy’, or engaging with language and reading at home, increases reading readiness and prepares children to enter school with the skills they need to succeed.

By reading just one book each evening, the 1000-book target can be achieved in less than three years and the child will be set for a lifelong love of books and learning – a great return on an investment of just minutes each day.


How 1000 Books Before School works

  1. Register at any Glen Eira library to receive your first Reading Record and reading kit to get you started. A library membership is required to join the program.
  2. Mark, colour or place a sticker on your Reading Record each time you read together with your child.

  3. Each time you reach a milestone in your Reading Record, bring it in to the library for a special reward.

  4. Every book that your child completes, or actively listens to, counts – this includes stories read at Storytime sessions, day care, playgroup, kindergarten, as well as the same book over and over again. You can read books from anywhere – not just library books.

  5. The program finishes once your child reaches 1000 books, or starts school. Congratulations!

Download all reading records 1 to 1000 here.


1000 Books Before School – Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child have to be to start the program?

Your child can start at any time as long as they have not started school. The earlier you start, the longer you have to complete the program.


What happens if I have more than one child?

You register each child! There is no limit to how many family members can participate.


I want all my children to participate.  Do they each need a library card?

Only one card is needed to register. You can join up each child as member if you wish, but it is not necessary.


Can I count books I read to my child before I registered?

No - the program begins for your family on the day you register, and you only count books you read the day you register.


My child likes to read the same book over and over again. How do I count that? 

Repetition is important for learning. You mark or colour in a circle in your reading record every time you read a book. If you read the same book 10 times, you mark or colour in 10 circles.


Can I count books that are read to my child by others or at programs like Storytime?

Every book that your child completes, or actively listens to, counts – this includes stories read at Storytime sessions, day care, playgroup and kindergarten, as well as reading the same book over again.  You can read books from anywhere – not just library books.


Do the books have to be library books?

No, any book that is read counts, whether it’s a library book, your own book, your friend’s book, etc.


What if my child starts school and hasn’t finished the program?

You have until the end of term 1 of the year your child starts school to finish your reading.


Information privacy

The personal information is required to conduct the program. Failure to provide this information may mean that the entry cannot be accepted. For more information about privacy at Glen Eira City Council, including the right to seek access to any information collected on this form, please contact Council’s privacy officer on 9524 3333.