Saturday, December 17, 2022

Read and Grow: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Vinyl wall labels (dark because I took this picture at night)

I think I started this program in 2017, or possibly earlier. I made a major update, changing to caterpillar logs a few years later, and I've generally stuck with that, just making small adjustments. In the early days of the pandemic I gave out the folders with stickers included, then took a hiatus in the fall of 2021 and relaunched the program in January 2022. I did one final update in November 2022, changing and adding to the prizes.

The biggest change is that we (by which I mean my awesome associate Jessica) painted an interactive wall for the kids to put their caterpillars on. They start with a caterpillar head, then add a circle for each 100 books read. When their caterpillar is complete, they take it home and we put a butterfly on the wall.

The folders are available in the library to be picked up and each contains
  • 1 sheet of instructions
  • 2 caterpillar logs
  • 2 double-sided sheets of reading recommendations

Meadow wall

When they pick up their folder, they get a caterpillar head from the desk to add to the wall. Participants put stickers on their log (they can get these when they start or as they go) and along the way get a planting kit (small painted pot), handmade reading bag, and Reading Buddy (Some reading buddies) When they reach 1,000 books, they decorate a butterfly to hang from the ceiling and get a free book.

I am very casual about "keeping track" and I don't care if caregivers don't write down the books, use 50 stickers instead of 5, or do the program twice. I buy the folders in bulk at Walmart during back to school season and we print the labels on Avery nametag labels.

All of the files can be found here. You are welcome to borrow and adapt our materials, but please remove the butterfly/bird graphics as they were purchased and are copyright (purchased as part of an iRead program - the artist is Yuyi Morales)

All the materials are in publisher and pdf format. For the Cricut files Jessica used to cut the lettering, email her at

Throwback to one of the earliest iterations

No comments: