Reading Programs

Grow at Home

Stuck at home?  Looking for things to do?  Want to earn virtual badges?  Here's a challenge to keep you busy! 

Log your reading, get ideas for what to read next, and complete activities for all ages that you can do at home.  To start sign up using the Beanstack Tracker app or at  If you’ve participated in Winter or Summer Reading or in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten you don’t need to sign up again, simply login!

For All Ages

Did you resolve to read more this year or has school assigned every child to read for at least twenty minutes a day?  Keep track of how long you’re reading every day with this challenge!  You’ll get a new virtual badge for every thirty minutes of reading.

Reading isn’t the only way to earn a badge though.  There are six categories of activities that you can complete to earn a badge:

  • Around the house
  • Reading
  • Digital activities with your Urbana library card
  • Play on
  • Create
  • Get up and move

Each category has a list of suggested activities.  There are suggestions for different age groups, but don’t worry!  You don’t have to do everything in the list to earn the badge.  Most badges require you do three or four of the suggestions to earn the badge so you can pick the ones that are most relevant for you. 

Let us know which activity you or your family loved the most!


If you’ve run out of things to read at home, don’t forget you can access thousands of titles for free with your Urbana library card!  Download our free app by searching for Urbana Free in your app store.  Go to to learn more.  For kids there’s also TumbleBooks!  TumbleBooks has read-along titles and audiobooks for preschool, beginning, and advanced readers.  Click here to get started!

#1000BooksB4K - Growing Readers One Book at a Time


Welcome to 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten - a year-round reading program for children ages birth to five years.  It's the fun, exciting, and free way to start children on the path to success. 

One of the most reliable predictors of school success is being read to during early childhood.  The Library would like to help support you as you prepare your child for kindergarten.  Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading. 

Just follow these steps to begin:

  1. Register:  Sign up at the Children's Services question desk or online.  Pick up program materials at the Library or print them from the website.
  2. Track Your Reading:  Mark your reading record for each book you read with your child.
  3. Every Book Counts:  Even if your child wants to hear the same book again and again, you can count it each time. You can also count the books your child hears at a story time, in day care or preschool, or with a friend or family member.   As long as your child listens to the entire book, it counts!
  4. 100-Book Milestones:  Each time you read 100 books, bring your reading record to the Library to receive a special sticker.  Take home a new reading record for your next 100 books or print one from the Library's website.
  5. 500 and 1,000 Books: You did it!  Come to the Library and receive a free book.  Look for your picture on the Library's Facebook page.
  6. Keep on Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000!  Keep on reading together—there’s more learning ahead!

Singing songs, saying rhymes, telling stories, and playing with your child are all great ways to build their literacy skills.  The Library has free programs for children that are fun and educational.  It's also a place to find great books to share!  

1,000 books may seem like a lot, but if you read just one book a night, you'll meet your goal in less than three years.  If you read three books a night, you could reach your goal in just one year!  Ask our friendly staff for suggestions—we're here to help you on your journey to 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Book prizes are funded by the Friends of The Urbana Free Library

More photos for 500 and 1,000 Books milestones from 2019 and beyond on the Library's Facebook page.

2018 Photo Gallery

100 Books | 200 Books | 300 Books | 400 Books | 500 Books700 Books | 800 Books1000 Books

2017 Photo Gallery

100 Books | 200 Books | 300 Books | 400 Books | 500 Books | 600 Books | 700 Books | 800 Books | 900 Books | 1000 Books

2016 Photo Gallery

100 Books | 200 Books | 300 Books | 400 Books | 500 Books | 600 Books | 700 Books | 800 Books | 900 Books | 1000 Books



Flyer     Flyer (Spanish)

Reading Logs

1 - 100 Reading Log
101 - 200 Reading Log
201 - 300 Reading Log
301 - 400 Reading Log
401 - 500 Reading Log
501 - 600 Reading Log
601 - 700 Reading Log
701 - 800 Reading Log
801 - 900 Reading Log
901 - 1,000 Reading Log


Books for Babies and Young Toddlers  (PDF)
Books for Two and Three Year Olds  (PDF)
Books for Four and Five Year Olds  (PDF)

20 Ways to Raise a Book-Smart Baby  (English)  (Spanish)