1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Read with Lake Forest Library

Why We Read

We are happy you have decided to read with your family, friends, neighbors, and us! Lake Forest Library Reading Programs are designed to encourage shared reading experiences, thoughtful discussions, and meaningful community connections. For students, reading outside of school also helps enhance their academic abilities and maintain skills over school breaks.

In addition to reading, our reading programs often invite you to attend Library programs, complete fun activities, or tackle other challenges to enhance your reading journey. Not to mention prizes!

On this page you'll find details about a specific reading program. All programs can be completed using paper logs -OR- online using the Beanstack app. If you have any questions about the program or using Beanstack, please call us at 847-234-0636 or send us a message.

Using the Beanstack App

Niche Academy has tutorials to help you learn to use Beanstack in your web browser and on Android and Apple devices: Beanstack tutorials

Absolutely! The Library continues to provide paper logs for all reading programs. They are available to download and print below, or you can pick them up at the Children's Circulation Desk or Adult Reference Desk.

  1. Download the free Beanstack app from your device's app store.
  2. Open the app and select "At my library, school, or bookstore."
  3. Select "Find a site."
  4. Search for "Lake Forest Library" and select it from the search results.
  5. Create your Beanstack app account using your email address and making up a password.
  6. *Tip* You can add multiple readers to the same account (such as your partner or children), and every reader can join different challenges.
  7. Select "Challenges" and join the current challenge.

If you prefer, you can create a Beanstack account and access open challenges in your browser by visiting the Library's Beanstack page at lakeforestlibrary.org/beanstack.

If you don’t remember if you have an account, contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing reference@lakeforestlibrary.org.

  1. Open the Beanstack app or visit lakeforestlibrary.org/beanstack in your browser.
  2. Select "Sign In" and enter your email address and password.
  3. Select "Challenges" and enroll in the current reading program.
  4. Begin reading, completing activities, and logging your progress!

If you forgot what email address you used when creating your Beanstack account, contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing reference@lakeforestlibrary.org.

  1. Open the Beanstack app or visit lakeforestlibrary.org/beanstack in your browser.
  2. Sign in.
  3. If you have multiple readers on the same account (such as you and your children), you can switch between readers by tapping or selecting your name, initials, or profile image.
  4. In the app, tap the big plus sign ➕. If you're using the browser, select "Log reading and activities."
  5. Follow the prompts to enter your achievements.

You can always ask your Lake Forest Librarians for help. Call us at 847.234.0636 or emailing send us a message.

In the app:

  1. Tap the gear icon ⚙
  2. Tap help

In your browser: Info coming soon.


1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Jump to: How to Participate

Set sail for the reading high seas!

Embark on a program designed to grow a reader. You can start any time before kindergarten.

From birth to age 5, your child is experiencing a crucial time of growth and development. Reading with them every day helps prepare them for future success as readers and life‑long learners. Not to mention you’ll be spending quality time together while promoting a love of reading.

Along the way, your librarians are here to support you and cheer you on. Built into the program are reading logs, book recommendations, child development information, prizes, and celebrations, all to help you track your progress and stay motivated. We can’t wait to set sail with you. Anchors aweigh!

Reading 1000 books seems like a big task! However, if you break it down and read one book a day, that's 365 books in one year, 730 books in two years, and 1095 books in just 3 years.

Thank you to the Friends of Lake Forest Library for support of reading programs including 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!


How to Participate

Jump to: About the Program

On App or On Paper

We're happy to offer two ways to participate in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten:

  1. Online and with an app using Beanstack
  2. Old school with paper log sheets

Both formats have the same milestones and prizes, so you can pick your preferred way to log books and track your progress. You can even use both! Caregivers may like the app because they can track book titles, whereas youngsters often benefit from the tactile experience of coloring in circles on the paper log sheets.

1000 Books FAQ

You can start this program at any time before your child reaches Kindergarten.

Absolutely. All the books read during library storytimes and programs count towards your goal of 1,000 books.

Yes! Re-reading books is not only accepted but encouraged, and each time you re-read a book with your child, you can log it on your paper logs or in READsquared.

You can view reading lists on READsquared, and your librarians are happy to offer specialized recommendations at lakeforestlibrary.org/rec.

Step 1: Register on Beanstack

Get started on Beanstack

All 1000 Books participants will need to create an account on Beanstack.

After joining the 1000 Books program in Beanstack, you do not need to use Beanstack further if you prefer to only use paper forms.

Create an account and/or join 1000 Books on Beanstack

Optional: Pick up your tote

Your 1000 Book tote bag contains reading log sheets and additional information about the program.

You do not need the tote bag to begin if you prefer to log your reading in Beanstack.

Optional: Download Materials

Download the entire 1000 Books PACKET

Includes log sheets and reading lists

Download just the READING LOG SHEETS

You can 3-hole punch them and keep them in a binder

Step 2: Read and log books

Log Books on paper

  1. Have your child color in a bubble on your log sheet for every book you have read together. Each log sheet contains 100 bubbles, representing one level of the program.
  2. When one of your child's log sheets is complete, stop by the Children's Library to pick up your prize and do your photo shoot.

And/Or Log Books in Beanstack

  1. Sign in on the Library's Beanstack page or open the Beanstack app.
  2. If using the Beanstack app, tap the big plus sign ➕. If using Beanstack in your browser, select the "Log Reading and Activities" button at the top of the page.
  3. Follow the instructions to log your books.
  4. When you reach a milestone, you will get a message in Beanstack letting you know to come into the Children's Library to pick up your prize and do your photo shoot.

Reading Milestones

Milestones and prizes are the same whether you log on paper or with Beanstack.

  1. Each time your child finishes one level of the program by reading 100 books, stop by the Children's Library for a sticker, a small prize from the treasure chest, and a photo shoot. If you're logging on Beanstack, you also get a digital badge for each 100 books you read.
  2. When your child has read 500 books, visit the Children's Library for their sticker, photo shoot, and treasure chest prize, plus an additional prize to celebrate being halfway through the program.
  3. When your child has completed 1000 books before kindergarten, they will also receive a book of their choice to keep the reading waves rolling!
  4. Stay tuned to the Library newsletter and web calendar. Periodically we host a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Party with a storytime, a celebration of 1000 Books finishers, and an opportunity for new children to register. When the time comes, be sure to register for the party and join us for fun galore!