Get ready for school—by reading!

CM Library promotes 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program


The Center Moriches Free Public Library wholeheartedly believes in the power of reading. With this in mind, they have been promoting their 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

“The 1KBK program is so special. It is amazing to see our newest of readers emerge before your eyes,” said library director Marcie Litjens. “Reading to your children opens up a whole new world of possibilities, including imagination and opportunities to learn. These experiences will carry them throughout childhood and into their adulthood.”

The program promotes early literacy—allowing children to know about reading and writing before they can read or write. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, by simply reading to children, reading aloud with young children is one of the most effective ways to expose them to enriched language and promote school readiness.  Also, reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.

Head children’s librarian, Margie DeCaro, has been running the Center Moriches Library program since its inception in 2013. The program, she said, has exponentially grown with just a few participants to dozens of patrons participating, varying month to month.

“1,000 books is the magic number to be more ready for school,” said DeCaro of the program. “They will be all ready to learn—it gives them a leg up.”

The program, she said, can start any time after birth—and rereading the same books over and over again is encouraged, as it creates repetition and counts as another book read. DeCaro said parents can read whatever they want!

“I think a lot of parents of infants don’t realize the importance of reading. There are so many reasons to read, and that also includes just sitting down and focusing on your child,” she added. “It’s just great for everyone in the family.”

Library visitor Sara Gross and her three girls, aged 11, 9, and 5, who are part of the Eastport-South Manor School District, have been participating in the program since her youngest was a baby. The 1KBK is her favorite library offering.

“We just finished up last summer,” she said of the program for her youngest daughter, who entered kindergarten this year. “It is so beneficial—and it is easy to do.”

This January, her daughter read her first book aloud.

“It was just a special moment,” Gross said.

Library visitor and Manorville resident Stephanie Tam-Plank said her children also did the 1KBK program and loved it.

“We always read at bedtime every night, so it was nice for the kids to be rewarded for doing so,” she said. “They loved getting the prizes at each 100 mark and especially the medal and taking the picture with the frame at the end.”

She said her children also enjoyed seeing their picture in the library newsletter after finishing the program.

“I think it’s a great program to encourage families to read at home,” she added.

Children’s librarian Dominique Nason also participated in the program herself with both her son and daughter.

“We were always reading and once they were old enough to understand, they loved to keep track. It’s a nice incentive to keep them reading, and it keeps them excited about books and picking out the books and coming to the library,” she said.

Participants receive sheets to mark off for every book read with 100 stickers. Those who participate will work toward submitting one sheet 10 times. For every 100 books read, participants get a sticker and a book for their home library! Once completed, each finisher gets a medal and a photo taken.

Visit the library to get one of their 1KBK book packs with choices of over 100 thematic book packs for your family to read and enjoy. Each pack includes 10 books and counts as one checkout and are available only to Center Moriches Library card holders. 


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