Cranford— The Cranford Public Library gets set to begin a new early literacy initiative, “1,000 Books before Kindergarten,” sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The program encourages families to read together by challenging them to share 1,000 books by the time their child enters Kindergarten.

1,000 Books may sound like a lot, but keep in mind: if you read three books a day for a year, you will have read 1,095 books. Aside from being a great way to bond as a family, sharing stories each day helps develop pre-reading skills. Positive reading experiences help children to stay motivated when the time comes to learn to read independently.

The event will kick off this Saturday Jan. 16, at 10:15 a.m., at the community center and is open to children ages six months to five years. There will be musical performance by “Sister Sing Sister String.” Registration is not required for this event.

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The goal of “1,000 Books before Kindergarten” is to encourage families to read together, foster a love of reading, and support the development of essential early literacy skills. While it can be difficult to get into the library to attend traditional programs, you set the pace for 1,000 Books before Kindergarten and you determine how to best fit it into your schedule.

Registration is required and can be done in the Children’s Department beginning January 16.  This is a free program open to children who have not yet entered Kindergarten. Either a parent or child must have a library card to enroll. For a list of other upcoming programs, visit the library Web page at cranford.com.

For more information on this and other children’s programs contact: Lauren Antolino, Children’s Librarian at 908-709-7272 or email at l-antolino@cranfordnj.com.