Sonoma Valley library launches new early reading program

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Read to a kid and you’ll prepare them for a lifetime of reading, say county library officials. In an effort to promote strong literacy skills, the Sonoma County Library is encouraging parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to their newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers before they start kindergarten. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide initiative and officially launched in all Sonoma County Library branches on Oct. 28.

Participants can track their reading and participation in the program online at and through the Beanstack app. Paper logs are also available at each branch. Children will receive recognition for each 100 books they read and various prizes throughout their reading journey.

Sonoma County Library patron Autumn Ashforth and her husband have been reading books to their son, Bromley, since he was born.

“Now at 14 months of age, [Bromley] loves to bring us several books at a time and listen to us read to him. We are incredibly excited for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative,” Ashforth said in a press release announcing the initiative. “Not only do we love a challenge, especially one that brings about positive outcomes, but we will be building a foundation for early literacy and learning in school.”

Each 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten participant will receive a free book bag and milestone sticker at their first 100 books and participating children’s names will be displayed at their branch and recorded in Beanstack for every 100 books logged. At 1,000 books, children will receive a certificate of completion and a free book.

Sign up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at or by visiting the Sonoma Valley branch at 755 West Napa St. The free program is open to all.

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