That’s how many books I’ve read with my children in the past 10 years.
In truth, it’s an approximation, but it has been over 4,000. I know this because each of my four children participated in our elementary school’s 1,000 Book Club program — four kids, each completing the program, equals 4K books.
It’s a neat idea, based on the research which shows that a child needs to read 1,000 books in order to have a strong enough foundation in literacy to become an independent reader. Parents sign up, and can borrow a bag of 10 books (the Red Bag that we’ve spent many a day searching for around here). You keep the bag for up to 2 weeks, exchange it for a new one, and so on, until you reach 100 bags, or 1,000 books. Students earn awards along the way, at each 25 milestone. At the end, they get a trophy. Students can start in their last year of preschool, but must finish by the end of kindergarten.
Which is where we were last week, applauding Joanna as she (just under the wire with only one month left in school) finished the program.
I am so proud of her — of all my kids — but really glad to be done. It’s just a grind, keeping track of the bags and their contents, keeping charts, returning books on time. I’ve been doing it for six years and AM VERY HAPPY TO BE DONE.
But in the end, we read a whole lot of books. Because not only did we read those 4,000, we borrowed books from the library and read those too, and also the hundreds that we have in our own family library.
4,327 books in 10 years….and more to come. And I just keep thinking — how awesome would it be if EVERY child could have the chance to read this much. How amazing it would be if every 4 or 5 year old (aw, heck, every kid of every age) had the opportunity to enjoy a thousand books in two years — and how I wish more adults tried to make this happen for all kids, not just those in communities like mine.