Challenge worth reading about

Hume Libraries has offered families of preschool children a fun challenge to help prepare youngsters for a lifetime of literacy, thanks to the new 1000 Books Before School program.

The scheme enables children to keep track of the number of books they have read or had read to them, and families are encouraged to reach a target of 1000 books before their youngster starts school.

The challenge will be launched at The Age Library in the Hume Global Learning Centre - Broadmeadows, on Tuesday 25 August 2015 at 11am.

This free event shall feature a talk by best-selling author and illustrator Jeannette Rowe, and be attended by Sue McKerracher, the CEO of the Australian Library and Information Association.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said the 1000 Books Before School initiative was a great way to introduce children to reading and lifelong learning.

“The simple act of reading to a child delivers so many wonderful benefits,” Cr Atmaca said.

“Parents who read story books out loud help to develop the vocabulary and language skills of their children.

“Young people love to hear a story, and books help them to imagine wonderful scenes and create pictures in their minds.

“Reading helps youngsters to be creative, and also demonstrates the exciting journeys they can explore through books.”

Participants of the 1000 Books Before School program receive a free reading record, so that families or carers can mark down the number of books a child has accomplished.

Families and carers may also record stories that a child has listened to away from home, at places like childcare, preschool and the library.

Children will receive special stickers every time they complete 100 books, and Hume Libraries will also supply a reward at the milestones of 100, 250, 500, 750 and 1000 books.

On each occasion a child finishes one book, they can mark it down on their reading record, regardless of whether the youngster has heard the same book read to them before.

Cr Atmaca encouraged families to give the challenge a go.

“While parents will need to be a little disciplined, it is possible to read 1000 books to a child before they commence school,” he said.

“It takes about five minutes to read a picture book, so if parents set aside 15 minutes they should be able to get through three books in a single sitting.

“If a parent achieves this every day, the child will reach their target of 1000 books in a year.

“A boy or girl does not need to reach a certain age before they enrol in the challenge, and youngsters who actively listen to the reading of one book a day will reach the 1000 books target in three years.”

Hume Libraries will invite participants to special story time sessions and other events to mark the challenge’s milestones.

Cr Atmaca said he hoped 1000 Books Before School would help children become familiar with their local library.

“Hume is a community that cherishes education, and we want to assist residents to learn at all stages of their life,” he said.

“A Hume library is a terrific place to get to know, as it contains thousands of tales about the world’s most fascinating characters, animals and achievements.”

To enrol in the 1000 Books Before School program, simply visit a branch of Hume Libraries.

To attend the launch, RSVP by Tuesday 11 August 2015 to Natasha Christodoulou on 03 9356 6959 or

Further information is at

Posted on 12:00 AM, 27 July 2015

Updated : 10:27 AM, 27 July 2015

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