1,000 books before kindergarten? Check.

MNW preschooler is first to complete school’s reading program

-Submitted photo

BARNUM — Emma Peters, a recent graduate of MNW Preschool, was recognized on May 22 for having been read out loud one thousand books in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (1KB4K) program.

She is the first student to complete the program since its inception three years ago. 1KB4K is a joint venture between the school’s library and preschool.

Emma, the 5-year-old daughter of Justin and Brandi Peters of Palmer, worked hard to finish 1KB4K.

“Every single night, we would read the 10 books Emma brought home from school,” Brandi Peters said. “It was a push, but she did it.”

Preschool teacher Janet Olson-Egli said Emma was particularly motivated to finish the program.

“Most of the students in our 4-year-old preschool class start the program, but we don’t often have ones who get new bags every single day. It really is an accomplishment for both Emma and her parents,” said Olson-Egli.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at MNW began three years ago under the direction of Christine Sturgeon, teacher librarian. Sturgeon had heard of public libraries doing such a program, but she tweaked it a little.

“Most public libraries who do this do it similar to their summer reading initiatives, where students get prizes when they read so many books, and the child or parent keeps track of which books were read. Instead, we check out a backpack full of 10 preschool-level books to the student, and then we keep track of how many and which bags they’ve checked out. The preschool staff do the day-to-day work, but it’s our families who are doing the real work at home, reading the books out loud. I just felt providing bags of books made it easier for everyone.”

Participants in the program get prizes after having read a certain number of books, everything from a bookmark to their own 1KB4K backpack. Donations from Manson area businesses help to fund the program.

Emma Peters received a trophy and certificate for her accomplishment.

For more information about MNW’s 1KB4K program, go to http://www.mnwcougars/library/1kb4k or call Sturgeon at (712) 469-2245 or csturgeon@manson-nw.k12.ia.us