Experts say 1,000 books before kindergarten helps develop a love for reading

Jan 23, 2024, 7:06 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2024, 6:39 am

SALT LAKE CITY — In the heart of the Salt Lake City Library, storytime unfolds as the “1,000 Books before Kindergarten” program captives the interest of babies and toddlers in the world of books — long before they can decipher the written word themselves.

Hannah Henrikson is the children’s services coordinator at the library. She emphasizes the concept of “early literacy,” where a child’s exposure to reading and writing begins its crucial formation from the moment of birth.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative is strategically crafted to encourage caregivers to engage in regular reading sessions with their little ones.

The overarching goal is to have children experience 1,000 books before they set foot in kindergarten. The program fosters an appreciation for literature and acts as a catalyst for early cognitive development.

“I was a teacher for eight years before I had kids, and I just know how important it is to read to them and to make it fun,” said Madi Anderson, a parent attending story time with her three young children.

Anderson believes instilling a love for learning enhances children’s confidence and wanting to learn.

Research corroborates the claim that exposure to words stands as the single most crucial factor in building language pathways. Beyond language development, being read contributes significantly to overall brain development in children.

Henrikson underscores the additional benefits of fostering one-on-one, screen-free time between children and caregivers.

“It also creates that love of reading. And some of those benefits, I think, are it helps adults get into reading too,” Henrikson said, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between caregivers and children in the reading process.

The SLC Library offers numerous programs to kindle the flame of reading in young minds. All these programs are provided free of charge. For more ideas and resources on how to get your child excited about reading, visit 5B45kids.com.

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Experts say 1,000 books before kindergarten helps develop a love for reading