1000 Books Before Six

For Immediate Release
November 9, 2015

Local Libraries Challenge Parents to Read 1,000 Books to their Child before Age Six

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. –November 9, 2015 – The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) has partnered with First5 Santa Clara County, opens a new window in the 1000 Books Before 6 initiative, urging parents to read to their children 1,000 books before they reach the age of six.
Modeled after the 1,000 Books before Kindergarten program, the new 1,000 Books Before Six program was first introduced at SCCLD’s Cupertino Library in Dec. 2013.  It was so well received by library patrons, the program is now offered at all SCCLD libraries.
“Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life,” states Emily Lo, Chair, Joint Powers Authority of Santa Clara County Library District, “These critical first years also create a window of opportunity for parents and communities to help shape how a child’s brain matures while, at the same time, laying a solid foundation for learning.  Here in Santa Clara County, I’m pleased that our residents have access to a variety of libraries which endorse and encourage parents and guardians to read daily to their children, providing an assortment of fun programs and activities they can participate in to enrich their child’s life."  

“Experts tell us that children need to hear a thousand stories read aloud before they begin to learn to read for themselves.”
~ Mem Fox, Author of Reading Magic

Free workshops, concerts and literature focusing on early childhood literacy for parents and caregivers are offered at all SCCLD libraries.   Parents are encouraged to pick up their copy of the pamphlets “Every Child Ready to Read,” and “1,000 Books Before Six” booklists for teaching and learning tips as well as incentives to encourage reading in children 0-6 years of age.
Additional research on the benefits of  reading to young children conducted by Australia’s  Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in 2013 not only proved a link between how often a child is read to and his or her development but also the benefits received through daily reading.  The study worked with children from a variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic levels.   It was discovered that neither the level of household income nor the level of parental education seemed to matter.  What did matter was one basic thing:  daily reading leads to better developmental outcomes.''  http://bit.ly/1RoMTRI
In “Every Child Ready to Read,” SCCLD offers tips to help children develop literacy and pre-reading skills.  Simple activities such as reading, talking and singing are important to helping children learn language and reading skills. “And, completing the 1,000 books before age 6 challenge, isn’t as hard as one might think,” stated Nancy Howe, County Librarian for SCCLD.  “If a parent or caregiver reads three books a day to their child, they will have read 1,095 books by the end of one year!  Just think of the possibilities for learning,” Howe exclaimed.  Free, colorful log books will be given to parents to help keep track and mark off the number of books read.  Incentives and prizes are awarded as the books are logged.  In addition to these programs, all SCCLD libraries offer:

  • Displays of classic and new children’s books (check out up to 100 books at a time)
  • Story times
  • Interactive eBooks
  • AWE stations (an all-in-one educational computer station designed for kids ages 2–10) at each library
  • Audio books (CDs, downloadable and with device)
  • Read with Me Kits (kits are created around a single theme, such as Colors, Dinosaurs, or Bedtime and includes: Books,  CD or DVD, Puppet and Activity suggestions)
  • Take Home Science Kits (kits include:  1-2 books on subject matter, 2 laminated activity cards, notebook to keep for recording results)
  • Special events, classes, and concerts just for kids
  • Reading recommendations for young children by experienced Children’s Librarians

The program is free and open to everyone.  Register at any SCCLD location and pick up a reading log to track the progress.  Color one circle for each book read.  Every time 50 books have been read, return the log to the library for a sticker.  Once parents and children reach the 100 and 500 mark, they receive a special prize.  At 1,000 books read, participants receive a special certificate of completion and a free book.   Since the program began in Sept. 2015, more than 650 children and their caregivers have signed up for the program.
“I think both parents and kids are very excited about the program.  It is great fun to see them come back to the library with many circles filled in and ready for the next challenge!  It also gives us opportunities to help parents select materials and educate families about all of our resources.   Something as simple as reading to your child has so many benefits attached to this simple, easy and free activity,” commented Jennifer Weeks, Supervising Librarian at SCCLD’s Campbell Library.  “Not only does it provide a stronger relationship between the child and his or her caregiver, it also enhances speech skills, teaches the basics of how to read a book – left to right – and turn pages, helps them develop better communication skills, logical thinking and most importantly, they learn that reading is fun!” concluded Weeks. 

Caption:  The Chow family of Campbell, CA gets ready to start filling in their reading logs at the Campbell Library.

About the Santa Clara County Library District
The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work.

In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2014, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2014, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 225,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.3 million visitors who borrowed 9.4 million items, making it one of the most used resources in the region. Visit Santa Clara County Library District online at www.sccld.org.

Nancy Howe/Chris Brown /Lili Smith
Santa Clara County Library District
(408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3010/3014