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Madison Public Library’s Pinney Library launches new initiative for early literacy promotion

Join local dignitaries on Wednesday, January 8, 9 am-2:30 pm, for readathon and launch of  Madison Public Library’s new early literacy initiative, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.
Event attendees will receive a free book bag, enjoy cake and fruit, and favorite (or new!) stories read by guest readers, including: Mayor Paul Soglin; Jennifer Cheatham, Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent; David Ahrens, District 15 Alder; Dipesh Navsaria, Medical Director of Reach Out and Read; and Deb Gilpin, Madison Children’s Museum Executive Director; Michelle Li, WISC-TV; and City of Madison police and firefighters.
1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a free program offered by public libraries nationwide with the objectives of promoting reading to newborns, infants and toddlers and encouraging parent and child bonding through reading. By focusing on early literacy, Madison Public Library partners with families, daycares, preschools, and organizations that serve families with young children to promote reading and school readiness for Madison’s children.
“1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program we are launching at the Pinney Library initially,” said Lesley Kircher, youth services librarian at the Pinney Library.  “It shifts focus away from summer reading for our youngest readers to emphasize that year-round reading is essential for children to build the vocabulary awareness and pre-reading skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to learn.”
In the program, families sign up and track their child’s reading.  For every 100 books read, children will receive a sticker.  After finishing 1000 books, children will receive a free book.  “1000 seems like a large number, but for a newborn baby that enters the program, reading only one book a day for that baby’s first five years makes an incredible difference in the child’s readiness for school,” said Sarah Lawton, Pinney Library Manager.
1000 Books Before Kindergarten was funded with a grant from the Madison Public Library Foundation and is only available at the Pinney Library at 204 Cottage Grove Road or online at
To learn more, visit