Early Literacy

Read, Talk, Sing, Write, & Play Every Day

Doing these activities together for just 20 minutes a day sets children up for a lifetime of success!

One Thousands Books Before Kindergarten

What is 1,000 books before kindergarten?

It’s a reading program designed to help caregivers prepare children for success in kindergarten. Children get ready to read years before they begin formal education. The most effective way to help children in your life is to read to them. This program is designed to encourage you in that endeavor.

What are the benefits to Reading together?

  • It’s a great bonding experience
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Instills a love of reading
  • Familiarizes a child with story
    structures & books in general
  • Teaches children the value and fun in reading!

Getting started:

Create a family account in Beanstack and enroll in the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” challenge. Access Beanstack by visiting ecrlib.beanstack.org to view the desktop version, or download the Beanstack Tracker app on your smart phone or tablet. 
Download on the App Store or Get it on Google Play.

How it works:

Keep track of books read to the child in your life. Books can be read by parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings – anyone! You can even count their favorite book each and every time it’s read.

Prizes are earned for every 100 books read. You will receive a Beanstack badge telling you when you have earned a prize. To claim the prize, simply visit the ECRL branch of your choice.

QR Code for downloading the Beanstack Tracker App on your smart phone or tablet

Every child from birth to their first day of Kindergarten.

Any book counts, and it doesn’t have to be in one sitting. You can also read the same book over and over and count it every time. Reading a book or selection multiple times helps build confidence!

You can count any book your child hears, no matter who the reader is or where the reading takes place. No matter who they read a book with or how they hear it, count it towards your goal!

A library card is not necessary to participate. But we’d love to help you get a card if you would like!

It does. But you would be surprised to learn that completion is well within your reach. Starting at birth, it’s only 1 book a day, or 4 books a week to reach your goal. Even if you don’t start until age 4, it’s only 3 books a day or 20 books a week.

Talk, sing, read, write and play with your kids. These activities will help develop your child’s language skills, letter awareness, conversational skills, and help children learn to love learning! Join us at library storytimes as we incorporate these early literacy techniques into practice. Don’t forget to count those books towards your goal as well!

All East Central Regional Library locations offer this program.

If you don't have internet access or a device, talk to your local branch about using paper reading logs.


This is a great chance for children and caregivers to engage in early literacy activities together. We also share a number of ways that you can help your children develop their early literacy skills at home. Each and every Storytime focuses on the five practices that best help children develop their early literacy skills. Those practices are talking, singing, reading, writing, & playing. Doing these simple things for 20 minutes every day can drastically improve a child’s early literacy skills, which will in turn helps them to be ready to learn to read when they enter kindergarten!

Early Literacy Calendar

A full month of Early Literacy and Early STEM activities for you and your little one to do together!

Download the Early Literacy Calendar here.

Learning Opportunities with Library Kits

Play and learn kits

Kits offer young children an avenue to practice their logical thinking, problem-solving, and gross and fine motor skills by using one of the five basic literacy skills – play.

Storytime to go kits

Kits are theme-based and contain items to promote early literacy development.