Once upon a time, there was a little 4-year old boy who loved to be read to. He loved it so much, that when he started the early reading initiative, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, at Wilton Library last September, he had his mom and his dad read stories to him whenever they could. They read so many books together, that by the spring, this little boy named Sam Robin was the first child to reach the 1,000 books goal and proudly received his program certificate from Andrea Szabo, Children’s Library manager, and Elaine Tai-Lauria, Wilton Library’s executive director.

So excited was Sam about books, reading, the library and his own accomplishment, that he even picked out his own clothes for the day that he was going to the library to receive his certificate.

“We love seeing Sam come into the library. His face lights up as he heads straight to his favorite place–the picture book bins,” says Szabo. “We embrace the idea of developing a life-long love of reading and libraries. This program encourages parents and children to bond together over reading and to enjoy their visits to the library to pick out books and receive new ones through the program.”

Sam (front) with his parents, Michelle and Michael

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative was started at Wilton Library last September during National Library Card month. This also was the time that Wilton Library removed its age limit for children under five, restricting them from receiving library cards, enabling Sam, along with many other kids, now to be proud owners of their very own Wilton Library cards in their own names.

In the 1,000 Books program, children from infants up to the time they go to Kindergarten can be registered and receive reading logs. The initiative is a fun way to engage parents and their children in reading aloud and developing a life-long love of reading. It is designed to be a stress-free program in which parents can log the books that they are reading to their children. For every 100 books read, a child will receive a brand new book and stickers. When the 1,000 books goal is reached, the child will receive a certificate in his or her name.

Dad Michael Robin places the 1000 Books sticker on Sam

In less than a year, more than 200 books have been given away and more than five children are closing in on the goal.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is sponsored by Cohen and Wolf, P.C. and Tiger Tales. Through their sponsorships, children receive their reading logs, stickers, free books and certificates.

More details about the program may be found on Wilton Library’s website or parents may call the Children’s Library at 203.762.6336.

Pictured above in main image:  Sam Robin (front) with (back row, l-r) Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of Wilton Library; Rachel Pencu, Cohen and Wolf; Sam’s mom, Michelle Kencitzski, and dad, Michael Robin; Andrea Szabo, Children’s Library manager; and Jeannie Rubsam, Tiger Tales.