Welcome to Pasadena’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge!

This campaign is a self-paced goal designed to promote early literacy and help children with lifelong educational and occupational success. But you don’t have to do this challenge alone! Pasadena Public Library will help you each step of the way with free books, Storytime, and even prizes to encourage your little ones (while supplies last)!

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Kindergarten, Here I Come info session

Join us for the launch of Pasadena’s Kindergarten, Here I Come! Learn about the skills your child will need for Kindergarten, pick up a FREE Transition to Kindergarten kit, plus start your child’s journey on 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten! The Info Sessions are for parents and caregivers of children ages 2-5 and will include play time or activities for children. Light refreshments served.

CLICK HERE for a recorded presentation

CLICK HERE for a copy of the slides

Tuesday, Jan. 16
Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.
• 10 a.m. – Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
• 10:30 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Thursday, Jan. 18
Linda Vista Branch Library, 1281 Bryant St.
• 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
• 11 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Monday, Jan. 22
Santa Catalina Branch Library, 999 E. Washington Blvd.
• 10:30 a.m. – Read & Play (ages 0-5)
• 10:45 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Tuesday, Jan. 23
Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
• 10:15 a.m. – Baby Storytime (ages 1-3)
• 10:45 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Wednesday, Jan. 24
Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S. Marengo Ave.
• 10:30 a.m. – Baby Storytime (ages 0-2)
• 11 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Thursday, Jan. 25
Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Dr.
• 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
• 11 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Saturday, Jan. 27
Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.
• 10:45 a.m. – Sensory Play time (ages 3-5 with autism and/or sensory challenges) and Info Session

Tuesday, Jan. 30
Villa Parke Branch Library, 363 E. Villa St.
• 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
• 11 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Wednesday, Jan. 31
San Rafael Branch Library, 1240 Nithsdale Rd.
• 11 a.m. – Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
• 11:30 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Wednesday, Jan. 31
La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.
• 4 p.m. – Spanish Storytime/Leéme Un Cuento (ages 0-5)
• 4:30 p.m. – Info Session in Spanish and play time

Thursday, Feb. 1
La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.
• 10:30 a.m. – STEAM Storytime (ages 3-5)
• 11 a.m. – Info Session and play time

Monday, Mar. 8
Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.
• 5 p.m. – Info Session and play time
Register HERE for March 8’s session

Saturday, Apr. 6
Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.
• 10 a.m. – Week of the Young Child Kick-Off
• 10:30 a.m. – Info Session and play time
Register HERE for April 6’s session


Week of the Young Child Kick-Off 

Celebrate Week of the Young Child with sensory art, planting in our new children’s garden, learning about community resources and kindergarten readiness, write letters of appreciation to early learning teachers, and pick up a free Born to Read kit while supplies last. Light refreshments provided. 

Saturday, April 6 • 10 a.m. – noon • Jefferson Branch Library 


Information for Parents and Caregivers

What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten? The concept is simple: read 1,000 books to your child before they start kindergarten. This multi-year (or month) early learning initiative helps children gain familiarity with printed books, expand vocabulary and enter kindergarten ready to learn. 

Do I need to attend a Kindergarten, Here I Come campaign Info Session to participate in the program? No, though we highly encourage you to. The kit you’ll first receive contains a wealth of information that may be overwhelming to sort through. The Info Session may help reduce anxiety and contains some great information about starting Kindergarten.

Who can participate?  Any child who has not yet started kindergarten.  That means newborns all the way up to your Pre-K child. 

How long will the program take? The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together. It may be as short as a few months or as long as a few years.  

Do books read at Storytime count?  Absolutely! Any book that your child has read counts, as many times as it is read.  Example: one book read 5 times before bedtime counts as 5 books. 

My child has finished the program. Can they start again? Congratulations on your child’s reading! While we love the enthusiasm, the program is limited to one time per child. However, there are many other public libraries in the area offering the program as well. You can find the full list at https://1000booksbeforekindergarten.org/find-a-program/california/ 

How do we participate? Read to your child and track. Each time you reach 100 books, visit your local Pasadena library branch and show your Tracking Sheet or let staff know you participated online. You’ll receive a prize at each milestone, while supplies last. Use the Tracking Sheet brochure or track online at pasadena.beanstack.com  (instructional video below).


Literacy Tips: 

  1. Read to your child daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Studies show that reading with your child provides a great opportunity for bonding. Reading together also helps your child associate books with affection and love.
  2. Allow your child to select their own books.  Reading the same book over and over helps children start to recognize specific words.
  3. Talk about what you’re reading.  Ask questions about the pictures.  Invite your child to be part of the reading process. 
  4. Talk to your child during regular daily routines. While shopping say “look at this purple eggplant” introducing new words and colors.
  5. Sing nursery rhymes with your child. Repetition helps a child learn.  
  6. Sing songs with your child every day.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not in tune, your child just wants to hear your voice. 
  7. Share wordless books with your child and let them tell you the story that’s happening in the pictures. 
  8. Get outside.  Playing with bubbles, sand, modeling clay or paint is a great way for them to engage in pretend play and utilize their language skills.
  9. When asked for gift suggestions, always recommend books so you can build your child’s personal library.


1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is part of the Kindergarten, Here I Come campaign

The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), Pasadena Public Library and the Office of the Young Child have partnered with local schools, community organizations and early childhood experts to create the Kindergarten, Here I Come! campaign. This new campaign aims to provide parents and caregivers with the information, tools and resources they need to prepare their child for kindergarten and beyond.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), research shows that the early years of a child’s life are critical for their healthy development. Having a safe home and spending time with loved ones―playing, singing, reading, and talking―can support healthy development. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep can make a big difference as well. Children depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop skills to become independent and lead healthy and successful lives.

Understanding the importance of this early phase, the Kindergarten, Here I Come! campaign was developed to provide information and resources that can help children stay healthy, be safe, and be successful in five key areas of development—physical health and wellbeing, emotions and feelings, social skills, communication skills and cognitive (thinking) skills.

To highlight the importance of literacy, parents are encouraged to participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program with their preschoolers. Early literacy skills have a lifelong impact on educational and occupational success and the most important predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood according to the National Library of Medicine (NCIB).

To learn more about Kindergarten, Here I Comehttps://cityofpasadena.net/kindergarten


Funding provided by:  

Books for home libraries are sponsored by The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library. 

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. 

This project was supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. 

Funding for the Kindergarten, Here I Come campaign was provided by State of California General Funds as part of PPHD’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, a home-based program for parents of children 2-5 years old. 

For questions regarding the program, please contact Jane Gov at jgov@cityofpasadena.net