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York County Libraries Announce Initial 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Results Libraries Hold First GGraduation Ceremony for 1000 Books Readers

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August 09, 2019
York County Libraries (YCL) President Robert F. Lambert and Youth Services Director Paula Gilbert have announced initial results of the “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program.  The early childhood initiative launched in October and York County Libraries recently held its first graduation ceremony for “1000 Books” readers. The initiative is an offshoot of a national program, and YCL put their own spin on the program to encourage York County families to read with their young children.
According to Gilbert, 68 children and their families achieved the goal of reading 1,000 books in the program’s first nine months from October 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. All totaled, this group read 72,443 books during this period.  At 1,000 books each, their total would have been 68,000 books.  They kept reading, collectively logging an additional 4,443 books. This group was the first to receive “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” diplomas from York County Libraries.  
YCL officials set an initial goal of having 1,000 children register for the program in the first year.  According to Lambert, by the beginning of July, the total enrolled was 1,942 and they read an impressive 252,760 books.  By July 30th, participation has already jumped to 2,041.   “I was totally overwhelmed by the immediate response of parents who wanted to participate in this program,” says Gilbert.  “Reaching our goal of 1,000 children before six months was wonderful and we’ve doubled that as of now.  We are excited to keep growing the program to reach even more children across York County.”
“We are invested in providing exceptional early learning opportunities for all of York County’s children and their families.  ‘1,000 Books Before Kindergarten’ is one of our signature programs that gets parents, grandparents, and caregivers actively engaged in helping their children develop a lifelong love of reading and learning,” says Lambert. “Reading to a child is one of the easiest, yet single most important thing an adult can do to enrich a child’s life.”
Children from the day they are born to the day they start kindergarten can participate in the program.  There is no cost, and all that is needed to participate is a free York County Libraries card.  All York County Libraries locations participate in the program and registration is open year-round.  Children reaching the 1,000 books goal between July 2, 2019 and July 1, 2020 will be part of York County Libraries’ second graduation in August 2020.   
York County Libraries include 13 libraries that provide the latest in print and electronic information, best sellers, Wi-Fi, story times, book discussions and more. Their librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning, providing opportunities and resources for all ages.  Through early childhood literacy programs, they ignite a love of reading and learning in young children and empower parents as their children’s first teachers. To learn more about York County Libraries’ programs, services, and resources, go to yorklibraries.org. 


Deb Sullivan                                                          
Community Relations Director                                      
York County Libraries                                                     
159 E. Market Street                                                      
York, PA 17401                                                                
(717) 849-6931