Program Overview

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is designed to help parents/caregivers prepare their children for one of life's big milestones: kindergarten! A number of research projects have proven over and over again that children get ready to read years before they begin their formal education. The most effective way to get your child ready to learn is to read to them.


How to Get Started:

      • Sign up for the program by visiting the Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library. Make sure to stop by the library and pick up your first reading log and a folder to store all your logs in.

      • Come back every time you have completed 100 books to receive a stamp for every 50 books you share together, a small prize at the 100 book mark and your 100 books log.

      • When you have finished 1,000 books your child will be able to select a new picture book to add to the their collection. The Library will also place an identical book with a book plate listing that the book is placed in honor of our child reaching 1000 books to the Library's collection.


Suggestions:

Have fun! Reading together should never be a chore!

  • Take every chance you have to read with your children, tell and talk about the stories, say nursery rhymes and sing songs.

  • Expose your children to a variety of different types of stories and vocabulary. Learning depends on repetition. It is good when children ask for favorite stories to be read again and again. When you have the opportunity, introduce new stories so that your child has a chance to experience and hear as many new words and concepts as possible.

  • Children learn best when you are in a good mood, so read with your child when the experience will be the most pleasurable for both of you.


Time to Think:

  • If you read one story at bedtime every night for three years you'll have shared 1095 books.

  • If you read ten books a week for two years, you'll have shared 1040 books.

  • This small time commitment is well worth the advantage you will be giving your child and the memories that you will form spending time with them.


Why is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten important?

Learning to read begins before children start school. From the time they are infants, children learn language and other important skills that will help them learn to read. Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to read once they begin school. Parents of newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers are their children's first teacher.

The Public Library Association and the Association of Library Services to Children, both divisions of the American Library Association recognize this critical role of first teacher and have created the Every Child Ready to Read program to better serve parents, caregivers, and librarians.

Children that enter kindergarten with strong pre-reading skills focus on learning how to read rather than first learning those essential pre-reading skills. Parents can help their children get ready to read through five simple activities: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. You and your child can enjoy these activities throughout the day – at home, in your car, or anywhere you and your child spend time together.

The five activities help support pre-reading skills through five early literacy components. The five early literacy skills are Phonological Awareness, the ability to hear and play with smaller sounds in words; Vocabulary knowing the meanings of words: things, feelings, concepts, ideas; Print Convention, noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the words on a page; Background Knowledge, the prior knowledge the child has learned; and Letter Knowledge, knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere.

Library Programs & Collections

Regular Programs

Toddler Story Time

Toddler Story Time is geared toward children ages 2 – 3 ½ years old, those who are ready to move around and explore. We’ll share stories, finger plays, songs, instruments and more with a focus on the early literacy skills and gross and fine motor skills. Your child will also have the chance to socialize with other children their own age.

Collections

Books

The library offers books for all ages. We have board books for the infants, picture books for toddlers and preschoolers, and plenty of easy readers for those kids ready to begin reading.

Music CDs

We also have a collection of music CDs, just for kids, with plenty of nursery rhymes and songs to listen to for young children.

Parent/Teacher Collection

Have a question about parenting or child development? We have an extensive parent/teacher collection of materials with topics ranging from napping, to potty training, to separation anxiety and more.

Adult Collections & Programs

The library also offers DVDs, video games, books, magazines, and music CDs for adults. Adult programs for adults include a night jazz music, an art show featuring local artists, book discussions, and more. Check our online calendar for upcoming events!

Phonological Awareness

What is it?

Phonological awareness is being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.

What can you do?

Birth to Two-Year-Olds

Say nursery rhymes so that your child hears words that rhyme. Emphasize the rhyming words.

Add actions as you sing a song or recite a poem. This helps your child break down language into separate words.

Singing songs is a good way to help your child hear syllables in words. In most songs, each syllable in a word gets a different note.

Make up your own silly, nonsense rhymes.

Say rhymes and sing songs in the language that is most comfortable for you.

Two and Three-Year-Olds

Say nursery rhymes and make up your own silly, nonsense rhymes.

Sing songs. Songs have different notes for each syllable in a word, so children can hear the different sounds in words.

Play word games such as, “What sounds like ran?” or “What starts with the same sound as ball?”

Say and encourage your child to hear and say animal sounds, environmental sounds (doorbell, etc.),.

Say rhymes and sing songs in the language that is most comfortable for you.

Four and Five-Year-Olds

Ask whether two words rhyme: “Do cat and ‘dog’ rhyme?” “Do cat and hat rhyme?”

Say words with word chunks left out: “What word would we have if you took the hot away from hotdog?”

Put two word chunks together to make a word: “What word would we have if we put cow and boy together?”

Say words with sounds left out: “What word would we have if we took the buh sound away from bat?”

Say rhymes and make up your own silly, nonsense rhymes together.

Sing songs. Songs have different notes for each syllable in a word.

Read some poetry together. Make up short poems together. Say the words that rhyme.

Say rhymes and sing songs in the language most comfortable for you.


Being able to hear the sounds that make up words helps children

sound out words as they begin to read.


Vocabulary

What Is It?

Vocabulary is knowing the name of things.

What can you do?

Birth to Two-Year-Olds

Talk with your baby or toddler about what is going on around you.

When your baby babbles or your child talks, listen carefully and answer.

Ask your baby or toddler a lot of questions. Even if she does not have the words to answer, she learns that questions are invitations for her to respond.

Speak clearly. Use short sentences. Repeat yourself when your child shows interest.

Speak in a language that is most comfortable with you.

Read together every day. Books have pictures of things that outside your child’s normal environment.

Name the pictures as you point to them—this helps children learn new words.

Two and Three-Year-Olds

Talk with your child about what is going on around you. Talk about feelings---yours and your child’s.

When your child talks with you, add more detail to what he says.

Read together every day. Picture books are a rich source of unusual words. When you talk about the story and pictures, your child hears and learns more words.

Use specific words rather than “it”, “this”, “that”, “here”, “there”.

When reading a story, use the words that the author wrote instead of substituting easier vocabulary. This is a great chance to expose and explain new words to your child.

Four and Five-Year-Olds

Talk with your child about what is going on around you. Talk about how things work, feelings, and ideas.

Use synonyms to add new words to familiar words your child already knows.

Learn together by reading some true books on subjects that interest your child.

Read together every day. Try not to substitute simpler words for unfamiliar vocabulary in a book. Instead, explain words that your child may not already understand.

When reading a story, use the words that the author wrote instead of substituting easier vocabulary. This is a great chance to expose and explain new words to your child.


Research shows that children who have larger vocabularies are better readers. Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.


Print Conventions


What is it?

Print conventions is noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the words on a page.

What can you do?

Birth to Two-Year-Olds

Use board books or cloth books and have your child hold the book.

If there are only a few words on the page, point to each word as you say it.

Read aloud every day—labels, signs, menus. Print is everywhere!


Two and Three-Year-Olds

Read aloud every day. Print is everywhere!

Point to some of the words as you say them, especially words that are repeated.

Run your finger under the title and/or repeated phrases as you say them.

Let your child turn the pages.

Let your child hold the book and read or tell the story.

Hold the book upside down. See if your child turns the book around.


Four and Five-Year-Olds

Keep reading aloud and looking for print everywhere.

Point to more of the words as you read them.

Encourage scribbling. Your child can “write” the words to the story on another piece of paper.

Encourage drawing. You child can draw a picture of what is happening in the book.

Name the author and illustrator and explain what they do.

Let your child turn the pages and tell you the story.

Point to words that start with the first letter of your child’s name.


Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and understand that print is useful.



Background Knowledge


What Is It?

Background knowledge is prior knowledge, things our child has learned. Background knowledge also includes print motivation or enjoying books and reading and narrative skills which involves understanding how a story works with a beginning, middle, and end.

What can you do?

Birth to Two-Year-Olds

Describe objects and toys your baby is exploring.

Make reading books and book sharing an enjoyable experience so that children associate books and reading with pleasure.

Tell stories so that children learn how stories “work”. Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Encourage children to say a repeated phrase and to retell stories.

Use props to retell stories.

Play sorting and matching games.


Two and Three-Year-Olds

Share books about concepts. (opposites, spatial relationships, size, comparisons)

Encourage your child to use their imaginations, to hypothesize, to guess what might happen.

Encourage your child to talk by asking open-ended questions.

When reading a story, use the words that the author wrote instead of substituting easier vocabulary. This is a great chance to expose and explain new words to your child.

Let your child “hear you thinking”.


Four and Five-Year-Olds

Encourage children to solve problems, to think about possibilities.

Encourage children to explore and experiment. Talk about experiences.

Talk about ideas, about things that cannot be seen. (fairness, privacy, consequences)

Have children draw a picture from a book or story and tell you about it or make up a story.

Explore and talk about cause and effect with your child.

Share informational books to build content knowledge.


When children reach fourth grade they stop learning to read and begin reading to learn. Increase your child’s success by ensuring they have background knowledge to understand what they are reading and learning.

Letter Knowledge


What is it?

Letter knowledge is knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere.

What can you do?

Birth to Two-Year-Olds

Help your baby and toddler see and feel different shapes as you play. (Say, “The ball is round.”)

Read alphabet books.

Point out letters on toys, food boxes, and other objects around the house.

Have your child play with wooden puzzles or shape sorters.


Two and Three-Year-Olds

Help your child see different shapes and the shapes of letters.

Talk about what is the same and what is different between two things.

Write your child’s name, especially the first letter.

Make letters from clay or use magnetic letters.

Point out and name letters when reading alphabet books, signs, or labels.

Read alphabet books with clear letters and pictures.

Encourage scribbling, drawing, and writing. Scribbling is the first step to writing words.


Four and Five-Year-Olds

Write your child’s name.

Make letters or have your child make letters from clay or use magnetic letters.

Point out letters when you see them in your everyday life.

Show your child that the same letter can look different.

Write words that interest your child (like “dinosaur” or “truck”) using crayons, magnetic letters, or pencil and paper.


Knowing the names and sounds of letters help children figure out how to say written words.

Library Programs for Elementary School-Age


The fun at the library doesn’t stop when children reach Kindergarten! We have programs and resources geared just for elementary school age children and their parents!

Regular Programs

Summer Reading Program

It’s never too early to bring your child to story time! Infant story time is geared toward babies from birth to 2 years old with plenty of nursery rhymes, songs, and boards books for young children.


Book Buddies Story Time

Story Time is geared toward children ages 2 – 3 ½ years old, those who are ready to move around and explore. We’ll share stories, finger plays, songs, instruments and more with a focus on the early literacy skills and gross and fine motor skills. Your child will also have the chance to socialize with other children their own age.


Additional programs can be found on the library’s online calendar (http://www.waterloopubliclibrary.com) or by calling the Library at 402-779-4171.


Books

The library offers books for all ages. We have easy reader books for beginning readers, a Bridging Collection full of picture books for an older audience and great chapter books that make perfect read alouds!

Toys

The library also offers great developmentally appropriate toys for young children that can be played with at the library!

Music CDs

We also have a collection of music CDs, just for kids, with plenty of songs to listen to at home and in the car.

Parent/Teacher Collection

Have a question about parenting or child development? We have an extensive parent/teacher collection of materials with topics ranging from separation anxiety, making friends, dealing with bullies and more.

Adult Collections & Programs

The library also offers DVDs, video games, books, magazines, and music CDs for adults. Adult programs for adults include a night jazz music, an art show featuring local artists, book discussions, and more. Check our online calendar for upcoming events!


Is Your Child On Track?


A Checklist for Parents

To do well in school, your child should meet some specific targets before and during kindergarten. Use the following checklist to help identify your child’s strengths as well as areas that need to be developed.

Language and General Knowledge

My child:

Has many opportunities to talk and listen

Listens to books every day and talks about the story

Has access to books and other reading materials

Has television viewing monitored by an adult

Is encouraged to ask questions and solve problems

Is encouraged to make decisions—like which vegetable the family should have for dinner

Has opportunities to notice similarities and differences

Is encouraged to sort and classify things

Is learning to write his or her name and

address

Is learning to identify shapes and colors

Has opportunities to draw, listen to and make music, and dance

Gets firsthand experience with the world—to see and touch objects, hear new sounds, smell and taste foods, and watch things move

Wellness

My child:

Eats a balanced diet of healthy foods

Gets plenty of rest

Dresses for the weather every day

Receives regular medical and dental care

Has had all the necessary immunizations

Runs, jumps, plays outdoors, and does other activities to exercise

Social and Emotional Preparation

My child:

Is learning to try new things and experiences

Is learning to do many tasks alone

Has many opportunities to be with other children and is learning to cooperate with them

Is curious and motivated to learn

Is learning to finish tasks

Is learning self-control

Can follow simple, verbal instructions

Helps with family chores


*Checklist taken from OnTrack: A Parent’s Guide to Student Success published by the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Kindergarten Learning

Kindergarten is an exciting time for your child! Do you want a sneak peek at what your child will be learning his kindergarten year? The Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Education spell out what your child is supposed to know and be able to do by the end of kindergarten.


Approaches to Learning through Play: Constructing, Organizing, and Applying Knowledge

Children’s past experience and knowledge help to define their understanding of new ideas. They organize new knowledge by creating their own approach to learning and by breaking down complex information into smaller steps or goals.

Creative Thinking and Expression: Communicating Through the Arts

Children will be able to create and experience music, performance, and visual art, create their own opinion about other artists and discover artwork from a variety of cultures.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression: Exploring, Processing, and Problem Solving

Children will learn numbers, operations (i.e., addition and subtraction), representing and comparing numbers.

Children use reasoning to make, check, and verify predictions and to analyze and solve problems.

Scientific Thinking and Technology: Exploring, Inquiry, and Discovery

Children will learn about living and non-living things, the physical properties (i.e., matter, energy, motion, etc.) that help us understand the world around us and outer space, how technology affects daily life, and the human impact on our environment and the environment’s impact on humans.

Social Studies Thinking: Connecting to Communities

Children will understand the concept of citizenship – following rules, being responsible, and working within the community, how citizenry and money (economy) impact their lives, and the difference between wants and needs. Children will also learn about the physical characteristics of the world around them, that people and the environment affect each other, and that all humans have similarities and differences.

Children will learn that past and present experiences and ideas help us make sense of the world.

Health, Wellness, and Physical Development: Learning About My Body

Children learn to make healthy choices about physical activity and nutrition and continue to master gross motor skills through activity and fine motor skills to increase eye-hand coordination, strength, and control over tools (i.e., pencil, scissors, etc.)


Language and Literacy Development: Early Literacy Foundations; Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

Children will learn that information can be shared and found in a variety of resources including technology.

Children will learn the importance of speaking and listening skills that will build the foundation for literacy and communication.

Children will understand that authors’ write for a specific audience and to convey a certain meaning. Children will also understand the pictures, symbols and text are used together to gain information and understanding.

Partnerships for Learning: Families, Learning Environments, and Communities

Administration, teachers, and families must work together to create a positive and effective learning environment for children both in school and at home.

Social and Emotional Development: Learning About Myself and Others

Children will see themselves as important members of their families, classrooms, and communities while learning to express themselves in an appropriate manner and developing healthy relationships with both adults and peers.

**Taken from Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Education – Kindergarten, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Reading Tips

Make book sharing a special time for closeness with your child.


You can help your child learn the alphabet by playing with different shapes, reading alphabet books, and talking about the letters in your child's first name.


Even from birth your baby is learning the sounds of language. There are all kinds of songs for different situations: waking up, learning parts of the body, finding comfort and listening to lullabies.


Think about something that interests your child. Trucks? Ask a librarian to help you find a book that your child will enjoy. Share it together, naming and talking about the different trucks in the picture.


Let your child see that you can find things to read everywhere. As you go about your day read cereal boxes, food jars, or stop signs. Point to the words and the pictures.


Children love to have their backs rubbed. They also learn by having multiple senses. Try making a shape or letter on your child's back and having him guess what it is. Don't forget to add in some tickles just for fun!


Use the time your child would normally be watching a TV program to play and talk with your child or if your child is watching TV, watch it with him and talk about what is happening.


Play rhyming word games: “Which two sound alike? Cat-fat, bell-cup, sand-hand” or I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with fog!”

Play with smaller sounds in words. Rhymes help children hear the different parts of words.


You can help build narrative skills by talking to your child about and during daily tasks. Ask you child questions: encourage her to speak and listen carefully when she does.


Sing the song “Bingo” together. Sing once through then drop a letter each round. Clap for the letter you drop. Begin with “There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-O! B-I-N-G-O, (repeat 2 times) and Bingo was his name-O! On the second round sing B-I-N-G (clap)” and so on.


Getting Ready to Read


Print Motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books. Children who enjoy books will be more likely to want to know how to read. When sharing and reading books together is a happy experience, children will think of books in a positive way.


Print awareness is noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the written words on a page. Print is all around us.


Let your child see you reading. Show him some pictures, too. When you read a newspaper or magazine, read posts to your child. Smile as you read aloud.


Letter knowledge is knowing that letters are different from each other and have different names and sounds. Researchers find that this skill helps children to understand that words are made up of smaller parts and to know the names of those parts.


Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Rhymes help children hear the different parts of words.


Vocabulary is knowing the names of things. It helps children understand what they read. It helps children recognize words when they try to sound them out.


Narrative skills is the ability to describe things and events and to tell stories. Researchers find that this skill helps children to understand what they are reading when they start to read.


As your child progresses in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, at about 800 books they may be ready for chapter books. Ask a librarian for a list of beginning chapter books for you to read aloud.


When your child asks you questions, you may or may not know the answers. Occasionally, look for a book that would answer your child's questions and say, “Let's find out together.”


Reading Activity for Babies


Play Pat-A-Cake with your baby. Use his name instead of the word baby like this: Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as faaaaaast as your can. Roll it and prick it and mark it with a “J”, and put it in the oven for Jordon and me.


When you pick a board book to share with your child, occasionally point to the title as you read it and point to words that match the pictures throughout the story.


It is natural for babies to chew on books. Putting things in their mouths is one way to explore. Choose books for your baby that are sturdy, made of cardboard, cloth or plastic. As you gently pull the books from the baby's mouth, show them the pictures.


Draw shapes in bright colors or cut out shapes from brightly colored paper. Show your baby the shapes and say their names. When you play with a ball say, “The Ball is round.”


Your baby learns words by hearing them. As you talk with our baby throughout the day, think of new words to add to what you already say.


Try songs and books with animals and the sounds they make such as Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Children like repetition, so you may be singing or reading it over and over again! Songs for this age are often at a slightly slower pace than those for older children.


Toddler Reading Activity


Use words to describe feelings, both yours and theirs. Try this song, “If you're happy and you know it give a smile! (repeat). If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely sow it. If you're happy and you know it, give a smile.” “If you're angry...give a frown.” “If you're sleepy...close your eyes.” “If you're shy...turn your head.” and so on.


Songs are another way to tell a story. Songs give rhythm to language. Ask a librarian for a story that is also a song and have fun singing together.


As you make lists or write notes, give your child a crayon and paper and let her make a list or write a note too.


Play letter matching games. For younger children use only a few letters. As your child learns more letters, you can make the game more difficult by adding upper and lowercase letters or letters with different fonts.


Language spoken directly to a child is most effective in building strong language skills. Play and talk with your child. While your child is playing, describe what he is doing: “You're pushing the car up the ramp. Wonderful!”


Catch a few minutes throughout the day to read. You might talk about something you did together that is related to a picture in the book. Even though you may not understand everything your toddler says, give him time to talk.


Read according to your child's attention span. If your child doesn't want to sit still, read while he is playing with something else. Eventually he will want to look at the pictures.


Help your child become aware of words that rhyme. Read a Dr. Seuss book. Then repeat some of the words that sound alike. As your child gets better at this, ask her to say the words that sound alike. You can do this with any book that rhymes.

Preschool Activity

Children often like funny songs and finger play. Try ones where children fill in words that rhyme, such as Willaby Wallaby Woo. “Willaby wallaby wood, an elephant sat on you. Willaby wallaby wadison, an elephant sat on Madison.”


Select an activity that has a process, do it together, and explain the steps. For example: “We are going to make spaghetti. First we need to..Next we will..” and so on.


Your child is learning more about things she cannot see. Talk about different kinds of feelings, “I feel (worried) when....” Here are some words to try: silly, shy, jealous, impatient, tired, worried, lonely, scared, frustrated, friendly, excited, curious, angry, proud, brave and embarrassed.


Say words with several parts or syllables and clap for each part. Monkey = mon-key; airplane = air-plane; puzzle = puz-zle. Each of these words has two claps.


Pre-school children like to pretend and use their imaginations. Ask your child to “Look like the letter “Y” or “C”. Help if he wants you to, or better yet, join in the fun and form the letter “H” together.


Your child can now understand things that cannot be seen. Even if he doesn't understand everything you say, you can talk about concepts and ideas; opposites, spatial positions (above, in front of, behind, below), infinity, fairness and freedom.


For Questions or Further Assistance, please contact us.





READING SUGGESTIONS AND INFORMATION

The Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library

23704 Cedar Drive

Waterloo, NE 68069

Phone: 402-779-4171