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Butte County libraries encourage parents to read 1,000 books with their children before kindergarten

Jon Peoples, children's librarian for the Butte County Library, leads a "silly dance" at a storytime at the Paradise Branch Library on Nov. 18, 2023.
Alec Stutson
/
NSPR
Jon Peoples, children's librarian for the Butte County Library, leads a "silly dance" at a storytime at the Paradise Branch Library on Nov. 18, 2023.

One gray, dreary Saturday morning the week before Thanksgiving, children’s librarian Jon Peoples sang songs and read a holiday-themed book to kids at the library in Paradise.

Peoples and other librarians host weekly storytimes across the six branches of the Butte County Library. The storytimes count toward the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program, in which participants fill out a tracking sheet for every 100 books they read. When the child has read 1,000 books  or has had 1,000 books read to them  they get a certificate of completion and a free book.

“It's certainly trying to cultivate a love of reading, a love of books, and a love of the written word,” Peoples said. “And spending quality time with a parent or caregiver centered around books.”

The library’s Sheryl Hubbard, who also conducts storytimes, said the group literacy activity has other benefits.

“When you're practicing sounds and colors and sights and words and sitting to listen to a story,” she said, “Those are all things that we're practicing getting them ready for kindergarten.”

Jon Peoples, children's librarian for the Butte County Library, leads a "silly dance" at a storytime at the Paradise Branch Library on Nov. 18, 2023.
Alec Stutson
/
NSPR
Jon Peoples, children's librarian for the Butte County Library, leads a "silly dance" at a storytime at the Paradise Branch Library on Nov. 18, 2023.

Logan Grauberger tries to bring his two kids to storytime at the library in Paradise every weekend. He said it’s helped his son, a kindergartener, find a love of reading.

“My son asks me to read to him. When I miss a day or two it will be like ‘Hey Dad can we read a story tonight?’” Grauberger said. “He actually asks for it now.”

Peoples, the children’s librarian, said around 300 families have signed up for the program since the library started it in February. He said only two families have read a thousand books so far, but he hopes to drive that number up.

Alec Stutson grew up in Colorado and graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Radio Journalism, 20th/21st Century Literature, and a minor in Film Studies. He is a huge podcast junkie, as well as a movie nerd and musician.