Los Alamos Kids Take 1,000 Book Challenge

Violet and Eli Helton have read 500 books! They received a certificate and had their photo taken for the Mesa Public Library wall. Courtesy photo
Jayla Vest has reached the halfway point in the 1,000 Books challenge! Courtesy photo
Bonnie J. Gordon
Los Alamos Daily Post

More than 250 young readers are taking the Los Alamos Library book challenge to read 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten. The nationwide 1,000 Books Foundation provides customized programs to libraries around the U.S.

Youth Services Librarian Angie Manfredi discovered the program and knew it would be perfect for Los Alamos.

“Friends of the Library generously fund the program,” Manfredi said.

The book challenge kicked off Aug. 29, 2017 and about 30 kids are now half-way to the goal. The readers get a prize when they reach milestones on the way, and when they reach 1,000, a beautiful children’s book. There are two to choose from.

“The idea is to build a connection between kids, caregivers and books,” Manfredi said. “This is a great activity for families to do together. The goal is to create lifelong readers.”

The program is designed to be fun and stress-free, Manfredi said. Parents may find themselves reading a favorite over and over to their child. That’s fine! It counts! Upon completing the book, the child marks off a circle on their worksheet. When they reach a milestone, it’s time to go to either the White Rock or Mesa Public Library to turn in their sheet, and get a reward.

Readers can begin the program any time and even go through it more than once. There are no time limits except kindergarten entry. There’s no lower age limit and babies have started the program before they could walk! Readers and their grownups can sign up and get their materials at either the White Rock or Mesa Public Library.

Reading is so popular among the youngest set of readers that books from the new 250 board book collection fly off the shelves, always in demand, she said.

“The 1,000 books seems like a lot, but you have all the time you want. One thousand books could be read in one year at a rate of three a day. We’ve found this goal is not to big, and not too small. It’s just right!”

For more information, call Manfredi at 505.662.8257


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